Arsenal 4-4 Newcastle: What would a fixed game look like?

Arsenal 4-4 Newcastle: What would a fixed game look like?

Arsenal became the first side to throw away a four-goal lead in the history of the Premier League as Newcastle fought back to draw 4-4 at St. James’s Park.

A delayed journey back from the Olympiastadion for Berlin Derby Day meant I missed the opening half-hour of this game, but upon arriving at the Oscar I poured myself a drink and enjoyed the atmosphere amongst the Arsenal supporters.

Wilshere remonstrates with Dowd

4-0 up after half an hour? A helluva performance, for sure. Johan Djourou scoring his first goal for the club? Wowzers. It felt like I’d missed my son’s first birthday.

With such a strong lead one of the older, more knowledgeable and level-headed supporters in the pub remarked to me late the first half that we just needed to “see the game out and avoid doing something stupid”. I couldn’t agree more, but in the back of my head I wanted more goals. I wanted our boys to close the goal difference gap on Manchester United and make a real statement here.

As I sipped on my half-time beer, I never imagined how foolish those arrogant thoughts would prove to be.

Goonerholic summed it up perfectly when he said “It takes a combination of things for anybody to surrender a four goal advantage at any level.” And so it was here, as a series of unfortunate events conspired to trigger a monumental second-half collapse by a group of players that I had heaped praise on just a few days ago.

Most people will believe that our collapse came with Abou Diaby’s sending off. It didn’t.

It started with a dreadful tackle by Joey Barton on Andrey Arshavin at the end of the first half. The little Russian navigated cleverly to shift his body position and Barton came blustering through, taking man then ball in reckless fashion. The decision from referee Phil Dowd? Play on.

When a team is 4-0 down at half-time the common statement to make regarding their second-half attitude is that they should give it a go because they have nothing to lose. At the end of the day what is the difference between 7-0 and 4-0? You may as well give everything because it’s not going to get any worse, right?

But by giving it their all there was something that Newcastle potentially did have to lose. One of their players. By giving it their all — ie. pressuring the Arsenal players and throwing themselves into tackles — there was always a risk that one of those players might get sent off.

The thing is, though, that Dowd’s cowardly, incorrect decision to allow Barton’s tackle on Arshavin to go unpunished set the limits for the second half. It meant that Newcastle, quite literally, had nothing to lose.

Shortly after Djourou was forced off came the next important moment in Newcastle’s resurgence. Sebastien Squillaci sold Diaby a little short on his pass and Barton took the opportunity gifted to him by the referee in the first half to take ball and man once again.

He may have played the ball with one foot but the replays showed that Barton leaped into the tackle with both feet off the ground and therefore should have been sent off. It was the very definition of a “reckless” tackle, once you leave the ground with both feet you are no longer in control of what you are doing and cannot cushion the impact.

Barton is a smart footballer, a man with an exceptional footballing brain to go with his nasty streak, and he knew exactly what he was doing here. He knew exactly what boundaries the referee had given him to move in and he knew that he would get away with it.

Diaby reacted foolishly, no question, but given the tackles he has been on the end of I won’t hold it against him. As supporters we see these tackles happen on Diaby every once in a while, because he is out with injury so often, but for the man on the receiving end they are happening almost every game he actually plays. There were signs of his frustration when Bolton’s Paul Robinson took him out earlier in the season and he finally snapped today.

Diaby’s sending off in itself shouldn’t have been the end of us — we still had a four-goal lead after all! — but the incident surrounding the red card made it very difficult. It was a second green light to Newcastle, a much brighter green light that they could throw their bodies around all they wanted and they would not be punished. Once again they were reminded that they had absolutely nothing to lose.

The next incident that followed in our collapse Newcastle’s first goal and once against the referee had a part to play. Laurent Koscielny was foolish to try and win the ball between the legs of the attacker but I can understand where Dowd was coming from to award this. His human instincts probably mumbled “I think it’s a penalty. What’s the score again? 4-0. Yeah, I’ll give a penalty. Surely it won’t matter at the end of the game and the fans won’t feel so bad.”

What happened next boggled the mind. Barton scored, Wojciech Szczesny picked up the ball and Kevin Nolan, in a bid to get the ball up, grabbed our goalkeeper in a headlock and threw him to the ground. The decision? Yellow card to Szczesny. Another green light from Dowd to the Newcastle players: “Do whatever you want lads, you’re going to get away with it.”

People will criticise our team for losing control of this game and in many regards they did. But the later stages of the Everton game gave a good indication that this group knows how to see out a lead. How to take their time on injuries, slow the pace of the game down and frustrate the opponents. But once Szczesny was punished for the heinous crime of not giving the ball back and attempting to slow the game down a fraction, the option to play the game at our pace disappeared.

Leon Best was unlucky to have a perfectly good goal ruled offside, but made amends for that moments later by finding the net again. We were struggling to cope with a man less and Newcastle’s momentum was building with every moment. Newcastle players continued to play aggressively, throwing themselves into challenges and we rarely got the ball into our own half. We were well and truly up against it.

Then came another horrendous decision. Dowd gave another penalty for Newcastle, apparently for a push by Tomas Rosicky. But where was it? Where was the push? Even the crowd didn’t really appeal for it. Even Mark Lawrenson on MOTD thought it was a ridiculously bad call.

Szczesny almost saved Barton’s poky penalty before comically hurling the ball towards the centre circle — he’s certainly got some character, this boy — and the score was 4-3. With around 10 minutes still remaining you could just feel what was around the corner.

That Newcastle equalised with such an amazing strike was just incredibly frustrating. That it came from a free-kick that Barton milked from Rosicky was typical of the refereeing performance. Cesc Fabregas was labeled as “clever” by Roberto Martinez for his part in Gary Caldwell’s sending off a few weeks ago, but this was far more “clever” than that. It was a dive.

The football gods had their final laugh when Robin van Persie found the net late on only to be denied by the offside flag. A correct decision, admittedly, but exasperating all the same as the whistle blew on an unbelievable game of football.

Additional talking points

Two points dropped or one gained?
The most bizarre thing about yesterday is that despite throwing a 4-0 lead away Manchester United’s amazing loss to Wolves means we are one point closer to the top of the table than we were at the start of the day. I love winning football games, obviously, and at 4-0 up we really should have one this one, but if you had offered me the opportunity to close the gap on United by one point I would have taken it.

The Invincibles’ record will stand
Not only did United’s loss see us creep a point closer but it also means they will not match the record of The Invicibles. It’s a huge relief for me, personally.

Djourou’s injury a huge worry
The extent of Djourou’s knee injury could be a huge factor in our chances of winning the league and indeed, beating Barcelona in the Champions League. While I don’t believe Squillaci is as bad as he his made out to be, Djourou and Koscielny are a great combination and none of the four goals yesterday came when the Swiss defender was on the pitch. That means in the past five-and-a-half league games he has scored as many goals as he has conceded, with Everton’s offside goal the only blot on his defensive copybook. The sooner he returns the better.

Szczesny is a man of immense character
With madness going on around him Szczesny showed again that he has character beyond his years. By his high standards he will be disappointed not to have kept out Barton’s second penalty but the fact that he has got a glove or foot on two of the last four penalties he has faced means his decision-making has been good. Meanwhile his throw of the ball as Newcastle players came to retrieve Barton’s second penalty was hilarious, as was his post-game response to the officiating on Twitter: “It is hard to make any comments on today’s game without using the magic word “referee”… Thought he was brilliant today…”

What would a fixed game look like?
How would you fix a game without it looking blatantly obvious? If we watched a game of football without knowing it was fixed, then informed that it was following the game, would we notice? How would this one or the Everton one rate in comparison to a fixed game? An interesting thought to ponder, I think.

Thoughts?

Have your say on Arsenal’s 4-4 draw with Newcastle by leaving a comment.

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133 Responses to “Arsenal 4-4 Newcastle: What would a fixed game look like?”

  1. Gaz2
    February 6, 2011 at 12:38 pm #

    That you think Barton’s clearly legal tackling yesterday is unacceptable demonstrates why Arsenal ain’t going to win anything this season – absolutely no grit, no fight, just full of excuses……

  2. The panther
    February 6, 2011 at 12:39 pm #

    I’m not a big fan of this report unfortunately, it typifies the arsenal fan’s winge mentality when the going gets tough. Imagine what Roy keane would e wholthink reading this…

    It’s just frustrating to see that arsenal cannot shake their tendency to throw away games, get muscled out of matches and not take their opportunities when their big rivals slip up.

    The whole fixed game idea is a bit silly really. People should put their imagination to better use…like wondering what a truly world class pairing of centre backs might feel like.

    Til next time.

  3. Austin
    February 6, 2011 at 12:41 pm #

    What a totally biased piece of rubbish, you hardly gtivev Newcastle any praise at all for one of the best comebacks in the premiership history. Once again Barton is picked on for his hard tackles (the ref was near on both occasions) Arsenal collapsed accept it.Can’t deny they were awsome in the first half and we were expexting a real pasting but no -get over it, I still think Arsenal are the best team in the league and should still win the title.

  4. BW4EVER
    February 6, 2011 at 12:45 pm #

    What a load of bitter nonesense. I expect this on a message board in a forum. But to actually have an article on your ill informed thoughts, please. Keep this pointless trash in your brain and prevent it ever again being exposed to readers.

    Arsenal just couldnt handle us.

  5. Janne
    February 6, 2011 at 12:49 pm #

    Funny how you bring up that even MOTD said the second penalty was nonsense. I agree with MOTM and you on the decision. You failed to mention MOTD also said Barton`s tackle on Diaby was fair. And you ignored the fact Nolan WAS penalised for harshly trying to stop the keeper from wasting time with the ball.

    The referee made two wrong decisions: The second penalty was laughable and Best goal should have been counted.

  6. karya
    February 6, 2011 at 12:52 pm #

    No decent team let’s up a four goal lead mate. No matter how biased the ref is. And that is why this idiots won’t win the epl. I wish I’m worng in this.

  7. Steve-O
    February 6, 2011 at 12:54 pm #

    Andy, I for one thought your report was very good and would reflect what most gooners were thinking. I also wondered if it was a fix before I read this – what were the odds at half time? Does Dowd know any Pakistani cricket agents???

    Saying that, I would love to have been a fly on the wall during the half time talks. I must have been a hell of a bollicking from Purdue and Arsenal just have to learn to keep their foot on the neck of the opposition when they’re winning.

  8. Andrew Weber
    February 6, 2011 at 12:55 pm #

    @ All – Thanks for all your comments. I really do appreciate them, particularly from opposition supporters, even if they don’t agree with the article.

    To the NUFC fans, just realise that this is written from an Arsenal perspective. There is not much praise given to your boys for two reasons. First, do you need any after coming from four goals down? It’s a fairly monumental achievement. Second, it simply wouldn’t have happened without the referee.

    The assumption that Barton’s tackling was “clearly legal” is just utterly wrong. The Arshavin foul is a foul and the tackle on Diaby was a leg-breaker, where he left the ground, and should have been punished. You also can’t ignore the fact that Nolan did what Diaby did.

    There is a fair bit of opinion in the above posts but the inclusion of the videos illustrates there is a fair amount of fact too.

  9. YezPleez
    February 6, 2011 at 12:57 pm #

    Biased rubbish and lame excuses flow from this river of dribble. Well done Newcastle, true score should have been 5 – 4 so I think Newcastle have the right to be bitching about referees decisions. MMMM?

  10. NUFC
    February 6, 2011 at 12:57 pm #

    Typical whinging shite from a gooner. Your Team is the best footballing side in the PL, but gutless and bottle matches which is why Man Utd will win the League and you win win sod all, again. Arsehole w@nker even makes Ferguson look classy, never sees anything wrong with what his players do. tosser!
    Thanks for the 4 points this season.

  11. Grant
    February 6, 2011 at 12:58 pm #

    How is it that the first few posts on here are from Newcastle fans that do not regularly read this great blog? Go troll some other blogs.

  12. Aung Myin
    February 6, 2011 at 12:59 pm #

    I may consider Squillaci as an unlucky player for Arsenal.As soon as he was on the pitch the ill-fated appeared for the Gunners.ONE red card,two penalties and dropping a win.His appearances only lead to a draw or lose,Am I superstitious?

  13. Andrew Weber
    February 6, 2011 at 1:00 pm #

    @ karya – Your comment is the reason why I asked the question “What would a fixed game look like?” I don’t believe this game was fixed, just terribly refereed, but it would be interesting to see if a fixed referee’s second-half performance would look in comparison to this one. In other words, when you say “no team should let a four-goal lead slip”, would that opinion change if the game was fixed? Or should a title-winning team be able to overcome a fixed referee and still hold on?

    Just pondering some interesting thoughts, not making accusations.

  14. Andrew Weber
    February 6, 2011 at 1:01 pm #

    I don’t mind NUFC fans being here, honestly. Some genuinely honest responses to the last comments I left would be wonderful.

  15. Sobin the indian gooner
    February 6, 2011 at 1:02 pm #

    Iam really disappointed and frusturated,the turning point was the red card to diaby.2 points loss.Atlast a relief came by the loss of man utd to wolves.Now we r 4 point drift of man utd ,if we win yesterday’s match it will be 2 points.Any way we have to believe in our team.Can’t wait for next saturday.

  16. Andrew
    February 6, 2011 at 1:02 pm #

    Bartons tackle was dangerous. The tackle on Arshavin was a foul and probably nothing more, the one on Diaby – it was a very strong tackle but it was very dangerous and could have broken a leg, A refereeing course I went on a few weeks ago taught us that players must be in full control when going into tackles, as none of his body was in contact with the ground – he can’t have been said to be in full control of his body and it’s a dangerous tackle and a foul.

    Second penalty was a joke, referee was awful. Glad we don’t have to play that bunch of thugs again this season

  17. Arfur Glassful
    February 6, 2011 at 1:06 pm #

    You cant have it both ways . Yes Lawrenson said he couldnt agree with the penalty decision but he did agree that Barton’s tackle was a strong but legal challenge. Bearing in mind we had a perfectly good goal ruled out for alleged offside, I think the end result was a fair one.

    It was a great game for both sets of fans to watch and let’s hope there are more like them in the future. Far better than watching sterile boring matches played out in half empty stadia – I should know I have watched Italin football far too long 🙂

  18. mematedave
    February 6, 2011 at 1:17 pm #

    bunch of thugs?reckless challenges? bartons tackiling was strong but fair ( according to any neutrals ive heard comment). arsenal just capitulated and again showed they dont have enough grit to cope with what they call ‘dirty teams’ .newcastle wouldnt let them play the way they like to in the second half. get over it

  19. Man on the Tyne Bridge
    February 6, 2011 at 1:17 pm #

    Well Mr Weber, You really are some sort of winging git are you not. Using your kind of logic, Hitler was a foreign ambassador to Israel, and Germany should have won the war.
    For Gods sake man, you got turned over big time.Just accept your slap in the chops and move on. If the Gonners had shown the same tenacity that we did, there wouldn,t be any debate.
    Never mind, there,s always next season.Bye Bye.

  20. shambogunner
    February 6, 2011 at 1:18 pm #

    @Andy,
    Not normally like you to write stuff like that mate, I dont subscribe to the whole fix thing but you are definately right in saying Dowd let them do as they pleased and awarded the second penalty out of mercy, but the first one was a stone waller, Kosciely actually misses with his first attempt at Best heals and goes in to attempt to foul again, I mean it was mindless, the newcastle player was going AWAY from goal there was no danger. Dowd gave the sympathy vote and tried to make a game out of it on morethan one occasion, not knowing that all it takes is a 30 yard wonder strike to turn things and thats what happened.
    Im still not happy that we conspired to let it happen though, it wasnt all the refs fault, he actually got a decision wrong for a newcastle goal when Rosicky gave away possesion 12 years form our end line and then AMBLED out playing Leon Best onside only for the officials to rule it offside.
    I said something yesterday about Diaby mins after the game that was bang out of order that he shouldnt get a game for a while now after that but what am I saying here, the guy has been hacked out of it repeatedly and I wouldnt blame him for his reaction, theres only so much you can take and I think we should reserve some sympathy for him today becasue Id say hes fairly low.
    Theres nothing else for it now boys we have to just get together as a club now, no-one outside our club gives us the respect we deserve, what other top four side, or any other PL team gets a man sent off and TWO pens against them in one game????? What top four side repeatedly has controversial incidents overlooked by television and media ‘experts’????? These tossers actually get excited at the prospect of a team battering Arsenal. If that were Utd yesterday Phil Dowds performance would be FRONT page news.
    Like I said its time to stop the in house arguing, of which I am also guilty of, and collectively get behind the team and manager, this can be used as a major reason to kick on now, an ‘us against everyone’ mentality could be just the tonic to see us make a fight for trophies.
    Yes Squillachi is attrocious and Koscielny is rash, but Byo and Nonny are right their all we have and theres enough pricks out there disrespecting our guys without us falling into that trap aswel.
    Come on Arsenal, now we can really show the desire and will to win, if we dont now, then these group will never have that will to win that our club needs.

  21. helloMum
    February 6, 2011 at 1:24 pm #

    What about the perfectly good goal they had disallowed?

    You bunch of babies. You lose a 4-0 lead and blame the ref. Look at your team.

  22. Steve
    February 6, 2011 at 1:30 pm #

    Your acting as if your players are saints here if you look at the first clip your condemning the Joey Barton challenge yet you don’t mention the two footed Diaby challenge that happened moments after that. I thought the Joey Barton challenge on Diaby was fair and won the ball one footed however I understand your comments about his body being off the floor. I also thought the Nolan situation probably could have been a sending off however if your keeper had not of been trying to time waste and cheat then it would not have got to that situation. It was also not in the same league as the Diaby sending off where he grabbed the player by the neck in anger and also raised his hands to another player. Funny no mention of the wrongly ruled offside goal from Best?? I don’t have any problem with Arsenal fans but come on there were bad decisions given against both teams during the game especially off the linesman who I thought was worse than the ref. Also to Grant you complaining about Newcastle fans trolling on here however there are plenty of Arsenal fans trolling on the NUFC blogs as well.

  23. Paul N
    February 6, 2011 at 1:30 pm #

    How is this biased?

    The man has posted the videos to back up his stance, what Newcastle supporters should do is say why he is wrong in what he has posted not just say “you are biased” and you are “whinging” and that nonsense that people say somethingl when something unjust happens.

    Bartons tackle on Arshavin was a yellow. How can you go through the player in such a way and its just a foul.

    MOTD usually has nothing good to say regarding Arsenal plus they are english players who believe you can kill someone when tackling them, so they say that Bartons tackle was fair. Liekwise that will make them say the penalty was soft. Think for a second, if Barton can clatter people and not even get a yellow how can they agree that Rosicky putting his hand on someone is a penalty?

    Its not that they are being nice to Arsenal, they are being consistent with their beliefs, though silly (ie Bartons tackle on Diaby) for the most part.

    Newcastle did play hard but they wer emboldened by the ref. Its plain to see.

    Good article, spot on in my view.

  24. el bizarron
    February 6, 2011 at 1:32 pm #

    I don’t which is harder to take, this game or the Tottenham loss earlier in the season. As much as things conspired against Arsenal, the team has to shoulder a lot of the blame. I have to agree with another blogger who wrote we lost our defensive shape in the second half. It wasn’t certain players, but rather the collective team’s problem. Newcastle (a lot of credit to them) were allowed to lay siege to the Arsenal box. I hope the boys can take the international break to forget about this one (and please no more injuries!) and get back to thumping Wolves next weekend.

  25. Tony
    February 6, 2011 at 1:34 pm #

    1) It was a strong but fair tackle by Barton on Diaby – only one foot went for the ball (and got it) the other foot is underneath him – if he’d wanted to hurt him he’d have dived in with both feet, the question you need to ask yourselves is Do you really want hard but fair tackles taken out of football? if hard tackles are banned then we might as well let girls in our teams.
    2) Rosicky had both hands up on Williamson’s back for the 2nd penalty – is this allowed?
    3) Nolan WAS booked for trying to get the ball from a time wasting goalkeeper.
    4) Please stop this whingeing – you’re embarrassing yourselves, accept it, Newcastle deserved at least a point for a tremendous comeback.
    I know the little boy in row 2 seat 147 shouted too loud when Tiote struck the ball for the equalizer which distracted your goalkeeper just before he was going to dive, but ask yourselves this; would he have saved it if the little boy hadn’t committed this heinous crime? These things happen in the game of football unfortunately but you have to dry your tears and get on with it.

  26. GlennUnitedgle
    February 6, 2011 at 1:34 pm #

    One eyed Gooners fans!!!!!!!!!!!! ROFLMFAO
    Barton’s tackle on Diaby was NOT two footed watch the replay that you posted dumb idiot! his second leg/foot is trailling his first which he takes the ball with studs down…he gets the tackle FAIR with the laces of his boot!!! The second penalty awarded against Rosicky was perfectly granted and 100% correct decission because Rosicky pushed Him away from having a chance to attack the ball…CHEATS you londoners….gooners are GOONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!
    Howay the lads…BESTS goal should have stood…we ended up the better team for our second half performance and GREAT NEWCXASTLE COMEBACK!!! WHO NEEDS ANDY CARROLL!!! ANDY WHO
    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  27. Brian Red
    February 6, 2011 at 1:38 pm #

    Toon fan here…

    I agree with the Arsenal fans that the Barton tackle was reckless even though he got the ball, but as you all know, these decisions are always 50-50. You don’t have to look too far into our very own history to prove that point. Hatem Ben Arfa had his leg snapped in two by Nigel De Jong with a reckless tackle that “won the ball”. We were livid that the referee deemed it fair despite the clear over the top aggressiveness of the challenge. In fact, we even appealed to the FA to act and they simply laughed us off. We had to get over that, and I am sure you lot will get over this.

    The second penalty decision was a joke, but I do wonder what Rosicky was doing placing two hands on an opposition player in the his own penalty area. It just reeks of naivety and stupidity. Dowd never made that decision as he was unsighted and it was in fact the linesman.

    Kevin Nolan was yellow carded for his actions against your keeper and you would do well to remember that Diaby was sent off for committing not one, but two offences in quick succession. Hence why Nolan finished the game.

    4-4 was a fair result by the end of the game and the stats stand testimony to that.

    Anyway, I hope you win the league as I can promise you there isn’t a Toon fan anywhere that enjoys seeing Man U lift the trophy.

  28. NUFC
    February 6, 2011 at 1:39 pm #

    It seems that your Managers whinging petulance has finally transfered itself not only to your players but the fans as well. 41 Bookings and 5 sendings off so far this season for your lot, so that makes Arsenal the PL most dirty and indisciplined team does it not?
    Or is that all down to dodgy refs as well? The main reason that we took 4 points off you this season is because your players are bottlers; so stop blaming the refs and take a look at your team. If we can score 4 against you what will Barcelona do?

  29. Paul N
    February 6, 2011 at 1:39 pm #

    Toney, here you are defending your boy Bartons tackles as just strong and then asking if it is allowed to have your hads resting on a player.

    So you can almost break a players leg but dont put your hand on them.

    Great logic there!

  30. Dazzamatazz
    February 6, 2011 at 1:40 pm #

    This article probably sums up how most Gooners feel today. When you’ve been on the receiving end of disgraceful officiating, two matches in succession, it is hard not to feel aggrieved. However, Toon fans, your accusations of ‘whingeing Gooners’ is childish and pathetic. Even the most one-eyed Newcastle fan can see that you were assisted in your comeback, no matter how remarkable it is. The worst example of a ‘homer’ referee in recent years and unbelievable inconsistency. Phil Dowd is a terrible, terrible referee who is far too easily influenced by the emotion of an occasion. Seems too much of a coincidence that a few days after Cesc Fabregas’ alleged criticism of match officials, Arsenal are on the receiving end of some very dubious decisions from another referee. Referees’ union at work, perhaps?

    Regarding Newcastle; I always used to admire the club, their supporters and the way the (used to) play football. After yesterday’s performance by that animal, Joey Barton and following some of the Toon comments on here, I hope you go back down to the Championship where you belong. You want to talk of Arsenal bottling it? In 1997 we saw the biggest bottle job of all time by Newcastle, when they threw away a 7 point lead in the league title race – the unlitmate bottle job. You are not a big club, you have won f**k all throughout your history. The sooner Newcastle’s delusional fans realise this (as Andy Carroll did), the sooner you will gain some perspective..

  31. Tony
    February 6, 2011 at 1:43 pm #

    Paul N,

    That’s the rules pal. Read ’em.

  32. Paul N
    February 6, 2011 at 1:44 pm #

    Brian, that tackle is only 50/50 to the English hackers. He ploughed through Arshavin and thenh Diaby, he shouldve been off as should Nolan if Diaby was.

    The premise of the article is right, if the ref allows thuggery on one side it will not be good for the opposition.

    Both penatlies were soft, again if Barton can get away with even a yellow in this match, dont tell me these were not soft penalties,

    Here is what I see for too fans commenting. Barton (and Nolan) can do what they want and go in “strong” and its just good hard football but if an Arsenal player breathes on a Toon player in the penalty area its a stonewall penalty.

    doesnt add up at all!

  33. Tony
    February 6, 2011 at 1:46 pm #

    Dazzamatazz, what’s “the unlitmate bottle job”? your whole final paragraph smacks of sour grapes mate.

  34. Jp
    February 6, 2011 at 1:47 pm #

    Typical English thug responses. Now pardew wants Barton in england team, what a joke. This could happen only if every England international is played with English referees and at Newcastle grounds! Then he would be an English great. He could be joined by Shawcross, Dan smith and that Taylor guy and play every international with 6 powers as they all get sent off. The world has moved on from condoning that type of football, that’s why England struggle.

  35. NUFC
    February 6, 2011 at 1:48 pm #

    Head to head this season we have taken 4 points off your lot, I note you choose to ignore that fact. We win will as much as you will this season, fuck all. A nice bit of bitter petulance from Dazzamatazz, Wanker would be proud of you!

  36. Paul N
    February 6, 2011 at 1:48 pm #

    Rules, give me a break Toney.

    Its as if you dont know the type of sick and twisted player barton is. He followed through intentionally on Diaby as he did with Arshavin. ONly in England are these things allowed.

    This is why England not only will not but cannot win anything, well atleast until the Arsenal boys get a hold of the team anyway. Walcott, Gibbs, Wilshere, JET and a host of others.

  37. Michael Hope-Jefferson
    February 6, 2011 at 1:51 pm #

    I have to laugh. Look at the replays before writing your reports. Bartons tackle was not reckless or illegal.neithe of his feet leave the ground he is actually skidding
    along the ground after hitting the ball and his right leg is actually trailing behind his body. No wonder Rugby fans call it puff ball. The people who invented this game will be turning in their grave at the way we are letting these foreign gay boys change our game into a non contact sport. 20 years down the line we will be sending people off for been within 5 yards of an opposing player.

  38. king gooner
    February 6, 2011 at 1:52 pm #

    what the f**k are all these northern monkeys coming on an arsenal blog for-barton is a sneaky c**t & knew what he was up to with a potential leg breaking follow through tackle & if any of you neanderthals know ANYTHING about football you’d admit it!but then again when an arsenal hating,useless prick,biased referee will let these thing go what do you expect-does help when you’re up against 10 men,corrupt ref though-this i might remind you is the same ref who comically sent wenger to the statds at old trafford for throwing a bottle to the floor!the c**t has an agenda against us & we sufferd as a result.

  39. Brian Red
    February 6, 2011 at 1:54 pm #

    I must say that I do find some of the hypocritical comments from my fellow fans on here quite bemusing. We can’t defend Barton , but then go on to castigate De Jong for what he did to Ben Arfa. I think both challenges were reckless, but we just need to accept that sometimes it will go for you and other times it wont.

  40. Andrew Weber
    February 6, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    @ Brian Red – Cheers for the comments. I was highly critical of the tackle on Ben Arfa, two wrongs don’t make a right. Bad decisions by the referee for both tackles.

    An interesting one on Diaby’s situation. The rules state that if you have not been shown a yellow card — ie. received your warning — you cannot receive a second one. In that regard Dowd’s motion that Diaby made two offences, therefore two yellows equalling a red, is wrong. He can’t actually do that. He can only give a yellow as a warning or a straight red. Personally I think it deserved a red, which makes it a bit irrelevant, but I believe Nolan deserved the same, regardless of whether he made one or two offences.

  41. Man on the Tyne Bridge
    February 6, 2011 at 1:58 pm #

    Dazza mate, I think you have a bitter taste in your mouth. WINGE WINGE WINGE. If the Gonners had had the same amount of 5hite to put up with as wev,e had recently , youd have something to moan about. Get over it man. Next week,s another game. Howay the Lads.

  42. NotGunnerGloat
    February 6, 2011 at 1:58 pm #

    I do wish Song were well. I doubt Barton would have attempted that tackle on him.
    A little part of me thinks had we not botched our game ManU would probably have their winning streak still going. Quirky fate.

  43. Andrew Weber
    February 6, 2011 at 1:59 pm #

    @ Michael Jefferson-Hope – I genuinely think you might need to check your glasses if you think Barton’s legs are not off the ground. The video is above.

  44. Dazzamatazz
    February 6, 2011 at 2:01 pm #

    @Tony

    Thanks for pointing out my spelling mistake. Wow, You can read! What is ‘sour grapes’ about stating the truth about Newcastle United? All of my last paragraph is based on the sad fact that a once great club is a pale shadow of itself, despite it’s fanatical and loyal support. Maybe it has touched a nerve?

    @NUFC

    Congratulations on your four points from us – they clearly are something to celebrate and something you will be able to reminisce when you are playing Championship football next season. In 2001 I was at Highbury when Newcastle beat us 3-1. At the end of that season Arsenal had won the League and FA Cup, and Newcastle… well who cares? My point is there is always a bigger picture for Arsenal, and that picture does not include Newcastle United.

  45. Geordie
    February 6, 2011 at 2:07 pm #

    As a Newcastle fan we definitely enjoyed the rub of the green yesterday, Nolan was a very luck boy and to a certain degree so was Barton but their was nothing wrong with Best’s “offside” goal and quite frankly we’ll take all the luck that comes our way. As for the “fix” theory that is just a typical bad losing mentality from a bitter Arsenal fan, you were 4 up you blew it, get over it.

  46. 1NiltoTheArsenal
    February 6, 2011 at 2:07 pm #

    NUFC and Dazzamatazz both make good points but at the end of the day I must side with NUFC. I refuse to play the victim. My team made ignoble history with a monumental giveaway of a 4-0 lead. For the for-seeable future of the game, there will always be Bartons and Dowds. We are the Aresenal. The knives are out in some for or fashion every single we take the pitch to play anybody. There will always be injuries and sendings off and poor decisions by our players, their players and officials. How many goals do we need to insulate ourselves from the injustices and vagaries of the game and the many variables over which we have no control? Surely 4 goals at the half should be enough. 5 goals? 7? 8? All great trophy-winning sides including prior editions of The Gunners consistently find a way to rise above it all. We need to learn and move on, but This Jekyll and Hyde performance was a total load of rubbish.

  47. Geordiedoonsooth
    February 6, 2011 at 2:08 pm #

    What a load of biased b*ll*cks Barton’s tackle on Diaby was hard but far one footed he didn’t leap in as you say. I am sorry beacuse Arsenal are a great footballing team but when things go wrong all they can do is winge & whine about bad decisions & so called bad tackles. You are a bunch of moaning babies

  48. Phil K
    February 6, 2011 at 2:23 pm #

    You know, theres a mixture of fair comment and utter BBC 5 live-inspired weeping and recrimination from Arse fans that isn’t doing you justice.
    Even other fans are joining in.
    The Barton tackle – there was nothing wrong with it. As a small minority of your fans say – he went for the ball – with one foot. IT’S CALLED TACKLE. The opposition are allowed to do it. And coming from “I didn’t see it” Wenger that’s a bit of a joke. Saw what wasn’t there this time.Hell – the Lahnden media sided with a REALLY dangerous two footed leg breaker by DeJong on Ben Arfa, yet see what they want to, not what was, with Barton’s.
    Godgy pen ?
    Yeah, it was. And Arsenal get plenty of those too. And against us, never mind in general. Coming from fans who thought a tackle from behind to bring Robert down in the penalty area in 2003 WASN’T a pen – Wenger is in keeping with the fans on having a double set of football rules !
    And didn’t you get a con penalty against Huddersfield recently too ?
    Swings and roundabouts.

    The “whingeing and whining” mentioned above isn’t going down well across the country (BBC and Lahnden press different of course – regional bias is worse than ever these days with these) and as i said90% of your fans are doing Arsenal support no favours.
    Lose a couple of points with a little bloody grace, for God’s sake.

  49. Jonathan Todd (NUFC fan)
    February 6, 2011 at 2:24 pm #

    hahahahaha cannot help but laugh at this article….bartons tackle was fair – yes OK the 2nd penalty was harsh but we had a very good goal ruled out for offside when it wasnt.This is typical arsenal – always blaming something for there teams failings- sorry but you are just all SORE losers…

  50. A2Gooner
    February 6, 2011 at 2:25 pm #

    I agree with Dazzamatazz. The inconsistency in calls (or lack of calls) made a huge impact on the match yesterday. The match reports state that Dowd sent Diaby off for pushing two Newcastle players, Barton and Nolan. This was the absolutely correct call, but if Diaby is punished for pushing Nolan, why isn’t Nolan punished for pushing Diaby. Why is that not a yellow card? As for Barton’s tackle, he did get the ball, but he was out of control in the follow-through and barreled into Diaby. Diaby is fortunate to not be injured, and Barton should feel fortunate to not get a yellow card.

    When Szczesny held onto the ball and was correctly booked for time-wasting and Nolan was booked for grabbing him around the neck and pushing him to the ground, it should have been Nolan’s second yellow card.

    For the first penalty, Koscielny grabbed Best and clumsily challenged for the ball by sticking his foot between Best’s legs. Best went down and deserved the penalty. The second penalty is much different. According to the match reports, Koscielny was adjudged to have fouled Williamson, regardless of the fact that Williamson used his hands to climb Koscielny’s back and then fall with arms flailing once he missed the ball. This should never have been a penalty.

    All this being said, congratulations to Newcastle for refusing to give up and fighting back. They dominated Arsenal in the second half. As gutted as I am that Arsenal gave up 4 goals in the second half and as aggrieved as I feel by Phil Dowd’s inconsistency, Newcastle actually had to take advantage of the momentum and put the ball in the net 4 times.

  51. Bob
    February 6, 2011 at 2:25 pm #

    Two words. Patrick Veira. Remember him? Did Arsenal fans want him sent off for every hard tackle he made? No. Don’t attack Barton when Diaby was much worse. Arshavin went over to Barton and shock his hand after the tackle on him, that is not the act of someone who has just recieved a ‘career ending tackle’, that is someone who has dignity unlike the real thug, Diaby. Typical Arsenal mentality, you can dish it out but you cry and moan when someone gives it back. Winning the ball is not a bookable offence.
    I would prefer diving and cheating was wiped out of the game before tackling. Yet where are the Arsenal fans calling out for Walcott to be booked twice for kicking the ball away?
    Arsenal were brilliant for 26 minutes of the first half. But in the second half Wenger sent out the other Arsenal team, the dirty, cheating, diving, fouling and moaning Arsenal. Face it, you let a 4 goal lead slip. We have taken 4 points from you this season. For once could Arsenal please lose or draw with a bit of dignity.

  52. Phil K
    February 6, 2011 at 2:25 pm #

    Er…NOT “Godgy” ??? – should be “Dodgy pen”

  53. Mild Manered gunner
    February 6, 2011 at 2:29 pm #

    Since when is Mark Lawrenson an authority on the game anyway. Pure and simply shocking refereeing. A leg breaker tackle all day long.
    There is a body of evidence stacking up against o’dowd. Sunderland away and the lets play on attitude till sunderland score. The song sending off for persistent fouling. Ok if he uses the same rules against our opponents. Remember Van der vaart persistent fouling in the 1st half at the emirates. No yellows for him. What happens in the 2nd half when he scores from a debatable pen, he gives him a yellow for going into the crowd. Should have been off long before he puts in the cross for Kaboul to score the winner.
    Yesterday just takes the biscuit. The man clearly hates the Arsenal for what ever reason. The 4 goals we scored o’dowd could do nothing about, all clean cut goals. If he’d chalked any off he’d have been found out for the corrupt imbecile he is. Don’t go expecting to win any carling cup either fellow gooners, Mike Dean is as bad. Sadly.

  54. Paul N
    February 6, 2011 at 2:31 pm #

    1nil, how is this playing the victim? talking about a dire performance from a ref is not. Its talking about obvious injustice.

    Barton didnt even have a yellow card yesterday!

    Georgie, you will most probably be talking crap from the Championship next season.

  55. Phil K
    February 6, 2011 at 2:34 pm #

    Paul N – “The man posted videos etc” Yes, and even there its patently bloody obvious that it ISN’T a foul
    Perspective.
    Too many fans see the name “Barton” then DON’T see the tackles aimed at him – it was actually physical attacks on him at Wolves, for example, and yet (like here) see what they want to see, even when it clearly wasn’t, if he tackles someone.
    Did Barton’s feet go higher than ground level ?
    NO
    So how the hell is that a “leg breaker” FGS ?????? DeJong’s two footed ankle-high lunge on Ben Arfa at Man City WAS. The London media sided with DeJong, saying “Just unfortunate, not a leg breaker” (which broke his leg in two places) so now, like this piece of tripe, you are saying a tackle that never got above grass level, that made no contact other than with the ball, is a “leg breaker” Talk about blind leading the bloody blind…..
    You are, as I said earlier, doing yourselves no favours with your whining, and double standards.

  56. bingocaller
    February 6, 2011 at 2:35 pm #

    Paraphrasing Bobby Robson on Arsenal, 2001 – for a team that knows how to win so well, it’s such a shame they have no idea how to lose graciously. Seems nothing much has changed in the past 10 years. Every single paragraph in this reports reeks with the very nauseating self-pity, victim mentality and breathtaking hypocrisy that the rest of the country has come to associate with Arsenal.

    Maybe your players were stunned by the sound of real supporters getting behind their team, as opposed to the audio loops of crowd noise that is pumped into the Emirates on match day!?

  57. Boss
    February 6, 2011 at 2:36 pm #

    Quite surprised with the amount of northern monkeys on here and that they actually have the mental capacity to operate a computer. Arsenal fcuked up and you got favoured big time in decisions. Why lie about it as the result can’t be changed so you may as well admit without dowds help you would of got raped even further.

  58. Darragh
    February 6, 2011 at 2:38 pm #

    Great bit of business in the transfer window from NUFC. Sell Andy Carroll for $35 Mil then bring in Phil Dowd! You don’t need a striker when you got a referee!

  59. John Hoy
    February 6, 2011 at 2:40 pm #

    As a life long Newcastle fan I simply had to comment here. The knuckle-headed comments by the vast majority of our fans on here makes the stereotype of thick Geordie seem completely justified. I agree with the article. Bartons tackle could easily have been penalised, and on most occasions would have been. The ref played a well lenient game in our favour. He was our extra man yesterday. The toon fans who argue blindly against any discussion that is skeptical of yesterdays result, do so not from the perspective of objective reasoning, they do so because to speak a negative word against Newcastle is tantamount to insulting their mother. A lot of what you said here makes sense and I can tell you there are plenty of Geordies who can appreciate how the ref helped us. Still, we rallied well second half and I must say, to complete the drama, the scoreline had to be 4-4. It’s a game I’ll never forget.

  60. John Toy
    February 6, 2011 at 2:47 pm #

    As a life long Arsenal fan I simply had to comment here. The knuckle-headed comments by the vast majority of our fans on here makes the stereotype of thick charv Gonners seem completely justified. I disagree with the article. Diaby’s assault was correctly penalised, as it would have been on most occasions. The ref played a well lenient game in our favour. He was in no way the extra man yesterday. The gooner fans who argue blindly against any discussion that is skeptical of yesterdays result, do so not from the perspective of objective reasoning, they do so because to speak a negative word against Arsenal is tantamount to insulting their mother. A lot of what you said here makes no sense and I can tell you there are plenty of Gooners who dispute how the ref helped you. Still, you rallied well second half and I must say, to complete the drama, the scoreline had to be 4-4. It’s a game I’ll never forget.

    It takes two baby, me and you.

  61. Paul N
    February 6, 2011 at 3:02 pm #

    Phil K, I expect nothing better from a person who supports Barton. If you cannot see that Barton meant to follow through on both Diaby and Arshavin, you are sad, very sad.

    “taclkes aimed at him (barton)”

    that has to be the stupidest commenty ever. I remember the carling cup, when he came on he barged into Arsenal players intentionally and again no blikin card.

    Any person that can defend barton is as bad as he is.

  62. Essexpieboy
    February 6, 2011 at 3:06 pm #

    As an aside – if someone had told me before the season started that we would play Newcastle 3 times and score 8 goals I would have been very happy…. You certainly wouldn’t bet on not winning two games from the three!

  63. eriss
    February 6, 2011 at 3:12 pm #

    I wish people will be more positive while considering Arsenal’s performances in this match. This match for all i care,does not take anything away from Arsenal in terms of quality required to win the league, all it take away from the team is psychological, and that is the feeling of insecurity arising from the gross abuses of power from referees and against Arsenal as witnessed in the match against Everton,and now Newcastle. Not withstanding whatever weekly wages paid to the players, i for one won’t risk a carrier threatning injury playing in a match officiated by a recless,fraudlent and criminal minded referee like phil dawd.Arsenal still have a great chance of winning the premiership, but this is up to Wenga and his Board to chekmate the conspiracy Against Arsenal.

  64. Man on the Tyne Bridge
    February 6, 2011 at 3:14 pm #

    Hey BOSS, (57) Get your facts right, firstly, monkies come from Hartlepool and seccondly , Idont think it was Newcastle who got raped. I think youl find that if the gonners had been able to shut the back door, maybe you wouldnt have had to take it up the 4rse.
    As for Mr Hoy @ 59, arn,t you just the teeniest bit a closet SMB. Wake up man . whose side are you on. Besides, it,s good to hear this lot moaning on.
    PS, is my typing ok Boss.

  65. Byo
    February 6, 2011 at 3:19 pm #

    Andrew Weber-
    There is a reason one does not write a synopsis of a match immediately after. A dispassionate look demands a lapse of time. Thank you for posting accompanying videos to illustrate your points. And if NUFC fans decide to be blind to objective analysis, then so be it.

    I am just grateful Diaby did not have his tibia/fibula/and ankle joints shattered yesterday. That for me was the most positive aspect to take away from the game. So we gave away 2 points/gained 1 point. The future of Arsenal does not have Newcastle to consider. While they will be involved in a relegation scrap, Arsenal will be fighting for the PL title/CC/UCL and the FA Cup.

    Some of the comments I’ve read since the match blamed the draw on Wenger not spending money in the transfer window. I really don’t see the correlation. The reality is we are in shout of first place at the end of the season. I think there are some Arsenal fans who cannot wait to say “I told you so”

    P.S Thanks Shambo.

  66. The Man on the Tyne Bridge
    February 6, 2011 at 3:27 pm #

    My thanks ED for an entertaining afternoons blogging. Your article contains a lot of good stuff and very well presented. Off for some grub now. Maybe the next time you guy,s drop the points, we can have another wind up session. Howay the Lads.

  67. poojarani
    February 6, 2011 at 3:27 pm #

    @ John Toy Thank you for pretending to be a committed gooner.but i dont understand why you waste y0ourself to be a gooner when you cant see the match from an eye of a gooner.But considering the comments you have made its highly likely you dont even give a shit of seeing arsenal to win a match.you are not sorry for our loss but you seem very delighted with the digusting result after we had a lead of 4-0.So puhhleez do support whatever you support but with passion and not to expect and savour such “drama” as you put so.

  68. lampong
    February 6, 2011 at 3:34 pm #

    to all newcastle intruders, the debates will never ends here bcos there is no referee in this blog, but one thing is for sure is that ur team were no where near to our standard of playing soccer if u play fair game like in the first half. u were humiliated, outclass in every department and embarrased at ur own home ground. u are worried we might slam in a dosen more goals in the second half, so what u do? u switch to plan B, lets play rugby and get nasty and dirty and let give this kids a lesson as what our neihbours have been doing to them. and after all the referee is british. and u said u deserve a point, shame on you, bad loser. u and those of your kinds will only kill the spirit and the beauty of the game.

  69. Gooner21
    February 6, 2011 at 3:41 pm #

    Wow, first of all, why the hell are there newcastle trollers on an arsenal fc blog? don’t have anything better to do huh?
    Secondly, I don’t blame Diaby for lashing out at that retard Barton because Diaby has been on the wrong end of so many bad tackles like that and he has had enough.
    It was ridiculous that we gave away a 4 goal lead, but as far as the season is concerned, we are inching closer to winning it. 4 point gap with 14 games left (including one with manure). As long as the players get over this match and win the coming matches, i think we’ll be fine.
    Oh to be a gooner…

  70. loyal arsenal fan
    February 6, 2011 at 3:42 pm #

    First of all im not being bitter but that wasnt a great comeback in my eyes newcastle dont deserve any credit, why? because i have never seen a comeback where the referee had a crucial impact. And im talkin about where teams bring themselves back from the dead like gerrard did with liverpool against milan, in this case phil dowd brought necastle back to life.

    Dowd first of all brought them back into the game after sending off diaby, and i do have sympathy for diaby as he only reacted because Phil dowd didnt react not once but for any of his horrendous tackles during the game.
    Then secondly he gave them a soft penalty that really gave newcastle belief as even after diaby got sent off we were still pretty comfortable and looked like scoring with are counter attacks.

    And for these reasons with the way dangerous tackles dont get punished but only result in our players gettin injured and referees doin everything they can to stop us winning games we will never win the league. Cause if referees were fair and players didnt break are legs every two weeks we would win the league easily as we have the best squad without a doubt.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUgP96XjEpY
    This is further evidence of match fixing

  71. NUFC
    February 6, 2011 at 3:58 pm #

    Before you sad lot moan on about “Dirty teams and playing Rugby” take at look at your Teams disciplinary record this season, 5 sent off and 41 bookings; the worst in the PL.

    No class, you sad bitter whinging cockney bastards

  72. Tom Baker
    February 6, 2011 at 4:01 pm #

    And you wonder why people hate Arsenal and their fans ??
    Why not hold your hands up and say ‘ well done Newcaste ‘ !
    …can’t do it can you ???? Match-fixing, whinging and griping….seriously grow up !

  73. iloveverminator
    February 6, 2011 at 4:11 pm #

    PLEASE CAN ANYONE PASS ON THIS MESSAGE TO ARSENE:

    Arsene should share the footage of the match with the FA and appeal against the poor refereeing decisions made. A panel of referees should review some of the decisions made…The two penalties were so soft…the second one was definitely not a penalty….There were 7-8 decisions against Arsenal which could have gone the either way…initially the referee was giving some of the freekicks to the home team purely because he was feeling sorry for the home team…this is not expected in professional football…
    The growing nexus between the FA and manure is going to kill this league for sure…
    Two instances I want to cite:
    1) Manure Vs. Spuds: Gomes was getting ready to take a freekick inside his own box, and what happens!! Nani comes in and rolls the ball into the net…What a farce?
    2) Arsenal against Huddersfield Town in FA Cup (i might get this wrong): the ball rolls over to an arsenal player after a deflection from the referee, and he holds back the play while it was a live ball…what the hell!!

    The FA thinking of taking action against Fabregas for foul mouth…what a joke!! The FA should clean their own house before it points finger to others…

    Andrew, please see that we lodge a serious complaint against teh referee to FA for this match…I am an Arsenal fan from India and i couldn’t believe what i saw today…This is cheating of teh highest order…Please, please pass on this message to Arsene and the Arsenal board, and request them to lodge an official complaint. PLEASE again.

  74. grey
    February 6, 2011 at 4:12 pm #

    “It started with a dreadful tackle by Joey Barton on Andrey Arshavin at the end of the second half.” – Paragraph 8. If it was at the end of the second half, you should not say “start”, because at the end of the second half Arsenal were, well, Arsenal.

    “There were signs of his frustration when Birmingham’s Paul Robinson took him out earlier in the season and he finally snapped today” – Paragraph 15. And I thought Paul Robinson plays for Bolton!

  75. Andrew Weber
    February 6, 2011 at 4:29 pm #

    @ grey – Thanks for the heads up. Changes made.

  76. billi
    February 6, 2011 at 4:31 pm #

    totally agree with the article, unfortunately I hanven’t recorded the whole match, cause it’s not only the mentioned blatant ignorant decisions of the ref, I would count all his wrong decisions of the whole match, it would be interesting, I can remember van Persy flying through the air, ‘tackled’ by two New Castle players and the free kick goes toooooooooooooooo New Castle……. ❗ ridiculous, but of course:
    the one who has the damage, never needs to make sure for the mockery 😎

  77. Tony
    February 6, 2011 at 4:35 pm #

    Would all the Newcastle fans (me included) please stop posting on this Arsenal board, the “World Wide Web” is not intended to reach outside of London.
    This is their board and they are entitled to whinge in peace between themselves.
    Brian “Red” —- the Newcastle fan —– you couldn’t make it up could you?
    Sorry, Whinge over – it’s catching!

    Seriously tho’, while i admire Arsenal’s style of attacking football i am inclined to agree that the opposing team has the right to tackle Arsenal players, if Arsenal fans had their way all teams would stand back and admire it also – we did that first half and look where it got us! Second half we came out with more determination and actually got a lot closer to their players and stopped them playing until we got back into the game – this was needed to stop a complete rout and in the end Newcastle more than deserved at least a point.
    Please stop the whingeing tho’ it does get tiresome after a while.

  78. unchained
    February 6, 2011 at 4:57 pm #

    people we must move on… there is a trophy to be won we are only 4 points behind united. this should make us play harder not whine.

  79. Randy Dutch
    February 6, 2011 at 5:42 pm #

    Well, ‘fixed’ is a very strong word. I’d just say ‘shit’ and ‘inept’.

    To any Geordies on here having a pop: know your place. If we want advice on eating pies, beating wives and slurping shite tasting beer, we’ll let you know. Leave the football to the big boys and fuck off.

  80. michael hope-jefferson
    February 6, 2011 at 5:44 pm #

    If your going to accuse someone of needing to check there glasses please at least get their name right. If bartons feet were any closer to the ground he’d have dug a trench. And for the guy who said we need to kearn how to play soccer properly. We play football in this country f*ck off to the USA if you want to play soccer. And just cause I don’t agree with you doesn’t mean I am a thick Geordie, for all you kow I could be a gooner who hasn’t caught the Wenger disease. It did make me laugh in his interview when he said he didn’t see the Diaby incident but did see Barton tackle, so who needs their glasses checking, get rid of those rose tinted ones.

  81. Andrew Weber
    February 6, 2011 at 5:46 pm #

    @ Michael Hope-Jefferson – “If Barton’s feet were any closer to the ground he’d have dug a trench.”

    You’re just wrong.

  82. NUFC
    February 6, 2011 at 6:17 pm #

    Randy Dutch you hard posting sad wanker, know your place? 4 points off the cockney chokers ha ha. Your lot need serious advice on how to lose / draw with even a touch of class.
    Worse than the fucking Mackems..

  83. w. mshila
    February 6, 2011 at 7:30 pm #

    fixed,through and through. and if by grit,Gaz thinks that Barton should play rugby then am proud to be an arsenal fan. much consolation that Man u lost to bottom Wolves

  84. Paul N
    February 6, 2011 at 7:56 pm #

    NUFC is not very sensible at all.

    If the ref giving you penalties and allowing your players to be ran over and fouled constantly is choking then so be it.

    HOWEVER, what position are you in the PL and what honours are you fighting for? (avoiding relegation is not an honour)

    Yes Arsenal may not win anything but atleast we are within a shout, newcastle?

    How silly to let a draw blur the whole picture.

  85. Isaac
    February 6, 2011 at 8:15 pm #

    I am really sorry to say that in the modern world where every organisation has a representative
    making a committees decision. Its only in English FA where we have a representative who is either a business man or old football player; without a representative player supporter or Doctor to judiciate decisions in football; like the game with Arsenal and Newcastle where the
    intent of a player can not be notice by an official who has been in this game for long time. Take this case of an impact to morden football we see and you will agree with me that referees
    must now be taking courses on the physio part of the football game. I think it will help them
    to detect the intent of tackle which will ruin the career of a player.
    There was alot of decision taking by the referee in Arsenals game with Newcastle which if officials
    practice what they preach in football then they must start watching some of these videos which if
    decisions like this continue we will soon see incidents we see in other football games in the world.
    We should be given a chance as supporters and club officials to vote for who we’d like to become fa officials every 5 years as is done in parliament. This will help English football.

    To Arsene I would like to tell him in a humble way that in life if you are a leader and if you fail
    to decipline your group you are creating failure and deminishment in the attitudes of other players
    within the group. In everything there is a rough patch in good things so I find it strange that
    Arsene has not noticed that with all the goods young players he has, he has failed to included
    one or two rough players in this young group to grow along with.

    I would like to beg him to buy two rough players who are determined to win cups.

  86. Michael Hope-Jefferson
    February 6, 2011 at 9:12 pm #

    Arsenal taking bad losing to a whole new level. Been a bad loser when you didn’t even lose.

    Last week Everton were accused of paying the ref, now we fixed it. F*ck off you self important

    Cockney w*nkers. If you want to play a non contact sport then join the English Netball league you bunch of French fannies.

  87. Terry
    February 6, 2011 at 9:18 pm #

    Ancient history. Time to move on. Home to Wolves next. I reckon they gave us one of our hardest games of the season at Molyneux and did so by not trying to hack us. And they did us a huge favour turningover the Manure. Saturdays results should mean we aren’t complacent at all.

    To the geordies, nice to have had you as guests but you’ve outstayed your welcome. But well done btw. Amazing comeback that you can talk about for years to come.

  88. Paul N
    February 6, 2011 at 9:20 pm #

    So how Joey Barton playes is how the game ought to be played. You should go around fouling and trying to hurt people.

    Michael, this is as good as it gets for Newcastle dont you get that. You aint winning anything.

    Call us whingers and girls and all that. These softies play the best football in the PL, are in the CC final (kicked you out of that), still in the FA and CL cups and are 2nd in the PL. I would say we are clearly a better team, no?

    Who accused newcastle of anything or everton for that matter? If the PL is corrupt the teams dont have to have anything to do with it necessarily.

    Anyway, relax, you did get a draw afterall, though with great help.

  89. Andrew Weber
    February 6, 2011 at 9:22 pm #

    @ Michael – I didn’t suggest we fixed the game. I just pondered what a fixed game would look like at the end.

  90. Luxinho
    February 6, 2011 at 9:31 pm #

    This might be of interest….

    http://goonertalk.com/2011/02/06/reports-interpol-investigating-arsenals-draw-with-newcastle/

  91. Larry
    February 6, 2011 at 11:32 pm #

    Unbelieveable, shows how much confidence plays in the game we love. arsenal fell for trap if trying to hold the lead….attack is best firm of defense and all that. At 4-3 sagna and fab running up wing, van persie was just standing on halfway. We invited them on, only at 4-4 did we think about attacking

    Diaby was stupid. You can’t do that, in a dangerous tackle that could have seen red, i reckon free kiwoulda fair, the ref does not see it that way and that is going to happen. This is premier league and u r going to get tough tackles and decisions will go against you. He let the team and the fans down big time.

    Barton, on one hand he goes in hard but other falls over like a toddler. Their 4th is a prime example. Their gameplan was to go down easy and exploit our weakness at dead balls and it worked with that plus 2 dodgy pens. you have to give it to him, he got Diaby sent off and u have to give him credit even tho I think he is a twat.

    So all in all, arsenal rollercoaster continues. Sure rest supporters were worried at 4-2 same as me, this is not what champions do, but as crazy season continues we are still with a shout.

    On plus, actually caught up on Mancs and Szczesny was very impressive, unlucky for pen and 4th but otherwise it’s great having a keeper u expect to make saves, rather than make mistakes. He has some balls too as was evident yesterday.

    On negative side, Djourou injury is a massive concern as his partnership with Kos is fantastic and defense was doing great til he went off. Kos looks like a completely different player playing with squallaci

  92. Jack Woan
    February 6, 2011 at 11:58 pm #

    My earlier comment after the Arsenal -Fulham match already stated that Koscielny is a diaster waiting to happen! When he played with Squillaci, he was nervous and clumsy….caused two penalties (although the second one was controversial). When I saw team news including Eboue (off form for quite some time), Koscielny, Squillaci and Rosicky (still recovering from illness), my heart sank because I fear that Arsenal will not win the match. Check all those matches that these four played together and you can made your own conclusion! Yes Diaby was stupid enough to get himself sent off after Arsenal lead 4-0.Szczesny did ok despite the 4-4 scoreline. Arsene lost the plot, a tactical error in his subsitution.A championship team needs player that is calm and a manager who welcome criticism to improve and not shift the blame to the referee. I have all along admire Arsene Wenger as Arsenal manager ,who managed the club with minimum fund and with young players. But I fail to understand why he could not improve the defence. He is still the best person to lead Arsenal but he need to do something different (what is it I dont know). What I do know is if he continue doing the same thing, he get the same roller coaster results!

    I think Barton is smart enough to irritate the opponent and get them lose their cool….Sun Tze Art of War. Arsenal should do the same thing to their opponent!

  93. mahmoud
    February 7, 2011 at 12:58 am #

    nice post here
    i love arsenal

  94. Gruggy
    February 7, 2011 at 12:58 am #

    The one conclusion that I’ve come to after this whole experience?

    I’m be hoping that Newcastle get relegated. Prior to this game I had no real ill-feeling against the Geordies. They’re a club who deserves (or deserved) to be playing in the best league in the world. But after the last game, I’ve completed a ideological three-sixty.

    Scum players, scum fans, scum team. Any club that anoints Kevin Nolan as a captain, and has Joe Barton in the starting eleven is nothing better than the crap you wipe off the bottom of your shoe.

  95. G10
    February 7, 2011 at 2:18 am #

    Scum fans Gruggy, the only scum team here is Arsenal only you have Arse in your title! and thats describes everyone one of you lot who still think they are a big team who should win the league ya wont and will NEVER win the league enjoy when Fabregas goes and Clichy and ure core leave as you wont win anything!

  96. Ianinja
    February 7, 2011 at 2:37 am #

    Eh….ok wrong blog, anyone can point me to AFC blog?

  97. NotTheMessiah
    February 7, 2011 at 2:52 am #

    Open your eyes Toon fans. For me the biggest issue from this game is the tackling/refereeing. I know there are plenty of you that think it is still acceptable to leave your feet in a tackle. The Premier League has moved on in recent years and has steadily become less physical. Why do you think so many of the continental players don’t want to come to England? Because out-dated paradigms of thought on what is acceptable physicality is way out of sync with modern football. It is 2011 guys, not 1980. Even the most deluded of football fans should be able to see that Joey Bartons tackle on Diaby was a career-ending attempt. Diaby was very lucky he didn’t have his leg snapped. Quite simply, Phil Dowd should be suspended for that effort. Such incredible ineptitude.

  98. Gruggy
    February 7, 2011 at 5:37 am #

    My second point has been personified perfectly.

    Cheers G10.

  99. Arsenal
    February 7, 2011 at 7:15 am #

    @Jack Woan …..Do you know the rule of the game? Enough say

    The comments seen here by the NUFC fans speaks on the broad English mass views of their outdated knowledge of football. What this article speak here is the truth and not “whinging” which all the mass English supported here but the game had already move on but the dispute on leg breaking tackles never end yet apparently. I saw an article by Desigunner on Arsenal Should Hire Pierluigi Collina, very constructive view and needs Arsenal club to looks into ways to fight …. ….http://desigunner.wordpress.com/2011/02/07/arsenal-should-hire-pierluigi-collina/

    Arsenal draw with Newcastle is being investigated… If true I am not surprised?!!!!!!

    http://goonertalk.com/2011/02/06/reports-interpol-investigating-arsenals-draw-with-newcastle/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=reports-interpol-investigating-arsenals-draw-with-newcastle

  100. delano
    February 7, 2011 at 8:05 am #

    I some times wonder how stupid some Newcastle fans can be. Lets have some wisdom and objectivity in supporting out teams. Hartem Ben afa got a double fracture from a stupid tackle and he was by all standards one of your best players . How do you condone Barts tackle for the sake of your team. Yes you desreved a point because of the stupidity in our backline which all credits to our coach. Wenger may still be the problem. We are still weak as injuries are comming in hard and fast. Am fearing for the worst against Barcelona. Again i ask what on earth is Rosicky still doing in tyhe arsenal shirt. I must say this guy has been pathetic at best for all the times has has captained the team or played part in the game . We have either lost or drawn. He created two goals for Newcastle. I have much respect for him but its time he retires like Nevile has done for United. Squillachi may be at the same wave length with Silvestre. Infact he looks a perfect replacement for silvestre and i cant wait to see Messi flooring him on the ground for dead. Am fearing for the worst. This guy never got a touch on the ball at all. Every attack ended either in the net or keepers arms.How i miss Song he could never have allowed such nosense in our defense. Wolves are back for us with the injuries we have and the others from the international break i would not let V.persie go neither would i let Walcott go otherwise we may play Barca with a second eleven team and receive a thumping more worse than last season. Overall i dont balme the Ref at all but Wenger him self. Every one cried out loud please buy Cahill or Samba he stupidly replied there is no better defender on the market than the ones he has around. Isnt this insanity of the highest order.The good thing now is that we have now a first choice bnack four of Jourou and vermalin. Had we had a defender like Samba his physicality nwould have stood up for the high balls NCFC played in our box only for a moron like Rosicky to foul in the box yet he was totally out muscled , short and there was no way he would get to that ball. Actaully the second penalty may have been soft but it was legitmate.Rosicky was at fault for two goals.He has caused mayhem for the nteam in games he has played and i dont know whether we have a replacement for him at the moment. Blame Wenger for all the mess if we miss the chance of winning the league. All ingredients are available for us to win it this time.

  101. alonso
    February 7, 2011 at 8:17 am #

    Hard tackle, Out of control body movement etc should be punished. One referree a pair of human eyes and yards of area to control. You must be taking me for a fool. After WWE I may stop following EPL. It seems only World Cup is not affected by mafia.

    Millions of our hard earned money spent on our teams, tv license and 1 referee decide who to award the winner. There is too much money someone can earn illegally in Football, FIFA is just turning blind eyes.

    Many of us here runs business and knows much better than FIFA guys how to make money so I think we should leave epl for school kids as FIFA guys consider us fools.

    I would not be surprised about money involved in ASN vs NCU . Again 1 wise man the referee and million of foolish in front of their TV, How long will you accept to be a fool? Sorry for english I am not used to write in English.

  102. Xabi
    February 7, 2011 at 8:35 am #

    hey its possible to send multiple post and make the readers believe many persons views.

    Ok me again. Its becoming more & more obvious referee are doing lots of mistakes. Tv channels commentators usually point out wrong decisions and this is alarmingly going high. During a match I very rarely hear ” Oh this is a good decision” Guys if you want genuine football, bombard fifa with complaints to introduce Video recordings tools to assist referee else don’t cry if arsenal, chelsea despite playing the best football doesn’t win.

    You may blame players but if referee is biased they wont be able to play. You cant get sanctioned every time you touch a player.

  103. knightman
    February 7, 2011 at 8:57 am #

    PSYCHOLOGICAL ADVANTAGE!!!
    that is what the ref gave to Newcastle…AW, i agree with you in most parts of this article. i have noted from all these comments that people don’t really see how a referee can help a team win without seeming to do much.
    let me explain:

    football is as mental as it is a physical game. a team that is physically strong and mentally weak can never perform at 100%. Dowd must have known this so well because what he did was to make a few decisions go newcastle’s way to boost their morale. Example, Barton’s tackle on Arsharvin should have earned Barton a booking, but Dowd let’s it go , Barton’s tackle on Diaby, send off for Diaby, no booking for the almost leg breaking tackle …

    what am saying is, it is OK for Newcastle to try and bully arsenal players within the limits of football rules and try to gain psychological strength over them, but for a ref to actively contribute to their agenda is totally unacceptable…if FA cannot train referees to be impartial in they officiating then they are going to fail terribly.

    i watched Real Madrid play Real Sociedad yesterday and i will admit that Spanish football is just awesome, it is the real game where all is fair and the game is all about ‘the better team winning’. Those who condone leg breaking hard but fair tackles should take up kick-boxing as a sport and leave football to the skilled

  104. MIchael Hope-Jefferson
    February 7, 2011 at 10:14 am #

    What Barton did is called a sliding tackle. It isd what Tony Adam, Maritn Keown and other Arsenal greats used to do week in week out. In them days it was hard to score one against Arsenal let alone 4 and since you lost them type of players you have won nothing either.

    I didnt here much complaining fron Aresnal fans about that type of tackiling when your team werre doing it.

    If Diaby had tackled in Barton in the same way and Barton reacted you would be all on here saying Barton should be banned for life and that Diaby should have broke his leg cause he deserves it.

    And as for Newcastle fans beeen disiliiusional…You only think that because the media have told you were disillusional…After 42 years of winning nothing we are far from disillusional and the only thing I along with the majority of Geordies wish for is that we beat the Mackems and finish above them in the league. Seriously, yes we want our team to get back into the top 4 again so we can play in the Champions League again, because those days were amazing, that doesnt make us diillusional though it makes us passionate, and the day I lose my passion for football and Newcastle I will stop supporting them.

  105. Matthew
    February 7, 2011 at 10:16 am #

    sorry but this has got the word true written all over it

  106. Michael Hope-Jefferson
    February 7, 2011 at 10:43 am #

    I am sorry Andrew but your view of the tackle is completely biased. If you look at the tackle in slow motion you will see quite clearly that he goes in one footed, yes his front foot lifts off the ground but thats cause he is swinging to kick the ball and you have to lift your foot of the ground to kick a ball, he only hits Diaby because Diaby swings his foot in to kick the ball at the same time, and his foot is also off the ground, does that make him a thug too? also by the time Barton touches Diaby his foot is back on the ground and it doesn’t even touch Diaby it is Bartons trailing knee that hits him….I defy anyone to go into a sliding tackle and then suddenly stop the momentum of your body to ensure you dont hit the opposing player…..

  107. Michael Hope-Jefferson
    February 7, 2011 at 10:48 am #

    And I will add that yes Bartons tackle on Arshavin should have been a foul…All us Geordies said so at the time but if you look at the the footage after the tackle Diaby goes flying in to Barton with both feet off the ground and pollaxing Barton….I dont here any mention about how bad that tackle was , or is that tackle acceptable because it wasnt Barton doing it but Diaby.

  108. patrick
    February 7, 2011 at 11:00 am #

    I don’t really want to waste too much time dwelling over Saturday, I think everything that could be said has been said. Both the sending off of Diaby and the injury to Djourou affected us badly, coupled with one of the worst refereeing performances I’ve ever seen in top of a wonder goal from Tiote (a player who just recently has resembled the new Nigel Quashie). Its vitally important that the team build a siege mentality now, that they believe the whole world is against them and so they stop making stupid fucking clumsy challenges in the box and score 6 goals before they capitulate 4 goals.

    Every none Arsenal fan I know got caught up in the hysteria of the Newcastle comeback, and most have initially confused my referee complaints with bias or sour grapes. I’m not – the referee also incorrectly disallowed a perfectly valid Newcastle goal, it just happens that most of the bad decisions went against us. A soft second penalty, every free kick you could possibly give, he even gave a corner for a blatent goal kick and booked our keeper for being suplexed into the floor. Incredibly awful. Even Graham Fucking Poll thinks so.

    One thing the game highlighted (again) is that Squillaci and Koscielny are simply not a good partnership. Both need to play alongside a rock of some sort – Squillaci even manages to make Djourou play well under his level, so the inexperienced Koscielny has no chance. And now Djourou is being shipped on to Switzerland to visit a clinic, where he will be put to sleep to dream about winning medals forever. Presumably they will bury him next to Thomas Vermaelen.

    Essentially we’re pretty much fucked. Song isn’t a central defender, and if Song plays in defence that means he isn’t playing in his regular position, Denilson is and that means we have two players playing in positions they can’t play in.

    Still it could be worse, we could have to rely on Jonathan Woodgate, a player who took a full year to make his debut for Madrid after signing for £13.4m in 2004 only to score an own goal and get sent off. Talking of terrible debuts….

    FernandLOL Torres let me down – anticipating him to score a hat trick and then kiss the badge in front of the Scousers fell short. He had two shots and a largely uninterrupted sulk. Apparently Carragher has become the target of a metropolitan police investigation after every body realised he had £50m in his pocket for 90 minutes. It’s too early to tell just how effective he’ll be for Chelsea, but the fact that a team with Drogba/Anelka/Torres managed just one shot on target speaks volumes both about Chelsea’s creativity in midfield and Liverpool’s belief and organisation in defence.

    I watched the Old Firm derby, I enjoy watching amateur football occasionally, and it lived up to it’s reputation. I was hoping for a bit of Kyle Bartley, instead Rangers played a 40 year old David Weir instead. I can see why, you don’t want a young lad in the middle against you biggest rivals after just a week of training with the team, only Arsene Wenger pulls stunts like that. It was quite a good game all told.

    Fantastically a player got sent off for diving. Well, it was a second yellow. You may remember before me complaining about referees holding back on cards when a player has already been booked, instead waiting for an “orange” type infringement, a second yellow worthy of a red. Well, the referee didn’t bottle it, it was a clear dive, a clear yellow and he sent him off. Excellent.

    I’ll be honest, you hear a lot of bollocks about Scottish refereeing, but the referee got 99% of the decisions right, he was well placed at all times and despite handing out 400 yellow cards and two reds, kept the match largely under control in a difficult atmosphere. Contrast that to the hapless cretin we had to put up with on Saturday, I’d say Neil Lennon has never had it so good.

    Do you want cheering up? Ryo Miyaychi, Arsenals new signing (who had to go on loan immediately due to a work permit issue) made his debut for Feyenoord on Sunday. Kid looks good – consider that he has effectively only ever played Japanese University football up until now. Check the highlights here.

    Finally, thankfully, the great Manchester United unbeaten run has been beaten. By Wolves. I won’t laugh too much as we’re playing them on Saturday, but fucking hell am I glad that shower of shit was stopped in it’s tracks. The only thing worse than Manchester United remaining unbeaten so far this season was Richard Keys wanking himself off over it on Television every week. Well, first he got sacked and now finally someone has had the luck swing in their direction enough to nail the coffin on that dream shut for another year. It was only galling because this is the weakest Manchester United team I’ve seen in years, dreadful in the midfield and worse at the back than Arsenal at times, somehow they’ve managed to get to February without losing. In fact, had we not conceded 4 second half goals on Sunday, they’d have conceded one more than us, but we did, so they haven’t.

    Oh, and also…. Interpol are not investigating Satuday’s game, or Rosicky, or unfortunately Phil Dowd. They might however be investigating the sudden disappearance of our back four, an unexplained absence that lasted 45 minutes on Saturday afternoon from about 4pm. Don’t believe everything you read on Twitter which stems from a French website that is largely the equivalent of Goal.com (eg. shit). They got the Nasri transfer right a few years ago, and little since. If you make a million guesses, one of them might be right.

  109. Delski
    February 7, 2011 at 11:21 am #

    I was shocked to see how the team fell apart in the last 20 mins, just could not believe what i was watching, here are my 2pence for thought:
    – Regardless of decisions that ref made, there is no way a team such as arsenal should throw away 4 goals lead, granted we had 10 men, it just shouldn’t happen, there was no fight or true grit in the players.
    – I think we sat back and invited NC to attack us, instead continuing our normal pass and movement game.
    – This result could potentially be a turning point in our season, because of the psychological effect it will have on the players. So i guess we have to wait and see the how the team response against wolves to make judgement.

  110. Arsenal
    February 7, 2011 at 12:33 pm #

    Tackles with a hard follow through are a thug

  111. Michael Hope-Jefferson
    February 7, 2011 at 12:49 pm #

    Exactly so Diaby is a THUG for his challange on Barton in the first half.

  112. Gooner21
    February 7, 2011 at 1:17 pm #

    Its so ridiculous that everyone in british football is biased against arsenal. we get kicked and screwed every single season, and when wenger and the fans complain about all the injustice, we are told to stop whining?!
    why the fuck should we not complain after all that happens to us every single fucking season?
    and yet we are always there on the top and remain the greatest and classiest team there is…albeit one of the most hated teams. but as a true gooner, i take pride in that. anyone agree?

  113. Anders
    February 7, 2011 at 2:47 pm #

    Great blog. U have a point.

  114. Arsenal70
    February 7, 2011 at 4:04 pm #

    You summed it up perfectly! How nobody can even question the referee after that game is the reason why England are so far behind the other big countries on the internasional scene! Newcastle could’t get away with that anywhere else in the world! The sooner the media and fans understand that…, the better for English football and footballers in general!!!

  115. Michael Hope_Jefferson
    February 7, 2011 at 5:01 pm #

    So we are all thugs and only Arsenal know how to play the game properly.

    So lets see the evidence on this wonderful video of Arsenals very own Denilson taking down Messi

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcmy5XpciwQ

    If you cant take handle the bruises dont throw the stones and dont accuse every other team of being thugs when your own players do the exactly the same whan push comes to shove,

  116. Shiv
    February 7, 2011 at 5:36 pm #

    On 86th minute, Rosicky makes a tackle, getting the ball and then going thru the man at half the pace Barton went thru… and the ref blows it as a foul.. so clearly here Dowd is having 2 different standards…

  117. Interested American
    February 7, 2011 at 9:33 pm #

    I live in the U.S. and this is my first season watching the EPL. A friend of mine said, “watch football, root for Arsenal, you’ll love it”, so I took him up on his offer and so far I have loved English football. I’m certainly not a huge supporter of any one team (to my friend’s dismay, I also like watching and rooting for Everton, Tottenham, and Fulham), but I have been watching three or four games a week, plus Champion’s League and FA Cup games. So while I’m no expert on what a properly refereed game looks like, I can at least have an informed opinion about it.

    What I watched yesterday would never have happened in a professional American sport. ESPN would have led with the decisions of the refs and it would have been news for days (is it still news over there?). We’re used to one or maybe two “bad” calls per game, but what I saw yesterday was far beyond that. Granted a couple of calls that went Arsenal’s way shouldn’t have (in particular Best’s first “goal” – that should have been allowed, obviously), but the barrage of horrible calls was unforgivable. Barton almost certainly should have been booked (and possibly sent off) for the Diaby challenge. Diaby was correctly sent-off for his reaction. How Nolan went unpunished for his push of Diaby was baffling. The first penalty was somewhat soft, but I’d seen them given for less, so not a huge deal, but it really got the ball rolling, so to speak. Szczesny was correctly booked for time-wasting, but Nolan somehow got away with an even more heinous act than the push on Diaby – that was a straight red in my opinion, exactly how Diaby reacted against Barton. The second penalty, as has been pointed out by countless others was a joke. Best should have been given a foul for climbing, I thought. And last, Rosicky’s “foul” that directly led to the final goal was nothing more than a tap, and Barton dropped like he’d been hit in the back of the head with a cricket bat swung by Vinnie Jones in a bad movie – it wasn’t even good acting. Isn’t a yellow card supposed to be given for taking a dive?

    Newcastle certainly played far better in the second half than Arsenal, but in my opinion they were given free reign to do pretty much what they wanted to by Dowd. Just one yellow to Barton for his tackles of Arshavin and Diaby would have put a stop to it, but it inexplicably didn’t happen. I lost quite a bit of love for football after watching that game. Quite simply, the referees have far too much power to influence a game. They should be there to ensure that a proper game is played, not to have an impact on its outcome. It was clear that Dowd had some sort of agenda (although I’d not go so far as to say the game was fixed). He certainly (even if subconsciously) wanted a closer game than it had been for 45+ minutes. At best he is an incompetent ref who let the game slip out of his control. For a start, the assistants should be bolder in asserting just what it was that they saw – it seems like they are afraid of the head referee. Second, an additional ref on the field would help tremendously. Finally, implement instant replay in some fashion, certainly for goals and corners/goal-kicks, but especially for “dives” – they would stop immediately.

    I’ve been trying to get my friends to watch more football, but most say they watched the World Cup and hated the made-up drama of all the dives and bad refereeing (of which the U.S. was a victim on the “offsides” goal). Given the refereeing in (and lack of accountability for) the match Saturday, I can’t argue against them.

  118. Ernie Dango
    February 8, 2011 at 5:31 am #

    Greetings from Australia.

    Long time fan of the premier league but I have to say watching that spectacle on the weekend I am probably going to switch back to La Liga for a time. I can’t say which was more horrendous, the referring, the disgusting behavior of the Newcastle players, or people’s justification of it later on.

    There was only one team on that field playing football. It’s disappointing that so many english supporters seem to think that the way players like Barton and Nolan behaved was ok. I doubt there is another league in the entire world where such behaviour would be tolerated. Equally the Arsenal player who was sent off was ill behaved but he was appropriately punished for it.

    Its a shame because England has some real talent and great young players on display, but you’ll never win a world cup until you do away with cheering for the hatchet men and bullies. Coming from Australia, a place where a big wedge of our footballing culture is comes from England (as well as other places) I see the trickle down effect in our own modest league.

  119. NUFC
    February 8, 2011 at 5:51 pm #

    Fuck me you sad bastards are still whinging ha ha ha ha ha . quite frankly pathetic. Its so funny when you twats whine about Bartons tackle I presume you automatically forget about Viera? Wankers!

  120. Interested American
    February 8, 2011 at 7:00 pm #

    Vieira? Did I miss a substitution in Saturday’s match? This goes far beyond one tackle (and other tackles in past games are irrelevant to this discussion) – it was a complete breakdown of what refereeing is supposed to accomplish. If all you harp on is one tackle when multiple other instances are mentioned, you must have thought it was a bad one, too.

    Funny how people with no facts resort to name-calling when trying to win an argument. Wankers indeed.

  121. John
    February 8, 2011 at 8:50 pm #

    I hope Arsenal don’t drop any more points this season – i can’t stand any more whingeing.
    Isn’t Google translate a wonderful thing? sooooooooo funny some of the comments from “Gooners” on here.

  122. Billy the Yid
    February 8, 2011 at 11:10 pm #

    Spurs fan in peace (i’m not here to gloat)

    After seeing the half time score on Saturday then finding out much later what the full time score was I couldn’t help but laugh (being honest) I just had to watch Match of the Day to see the old enemy fall apart. I’ll admit you played well for the first 30 mins – tore Newcastle apart actually, but that second half was a total turnaround, it was actually a very good game to watch from the neutral point of view so here’s my take on it:
    Barton should have been booked for the tackle on Arshavin, though it looks like he tries to pull out when Arshavin turns with the ball so benefit of the doubt there.
    Barton tackle on Diaby – nothing wrong with it – a good old fashioned hard tackle, wins the ball fair and square, no problem with that – Diaby sent off – Correct decision.
    Nolan on the goalkeeper – he gets booked for it and that’s all that was warranted.
    Best “Goal” onside withoubt a doubt. Wrong decision to disallow it.
    First penalty definitely a pen, i’ve seen them given for a lot less than that.
    Second pen, a bit of a soft one but as soon as i saw rosicky with his hands on their players back in the replay i could understand why it was given.
    Van Persie “Goal” at the end – Offside by half a yard – Correct decision.
    So that’s how i see it anyway, Newcastle came back really strong in the last 35-40 mins and capped it with a fine equalizer. Overall for the full 90 mins = fair result.
    Just an observation to end with – don’t pretend to be a foreigner in an attempt to drum up support for your team by suggesting the whole world is shocked by the result of the game – really nobody cares, stop whining and people might have a bit of sympathy for your poor predicament. Really, an “American” using the English phrase “Harp on”- pull the other one.

    Funny how people with no Penis resort to Nationality-changing when trying to win an argument. Wanker indeed.

    Yours

    Billy the Yid.

  123. Interested American
    February 9, 2011 at 12:47 am #

    How can you say “the old enemy” and “the neutral point of view” in the same sentence? No one that’s ever watched an EPL game would truly be neutral anyway.

    I’m an American whether or not you want to believe it – we say “harp on” here all the time. That is most definitely not an exclusively English, or even British, saying. I live in the South – do you want me to fill in the paragraph with a few “ya’lls” and “grits” and “squeal like a pig!”s to prove it? And I never said the whole world was shocked. I said that if that quality of refereeing happened in a major American sporting event, it would be headline news on ESPN for days. It’s just not tolerated.

    We’re all entitled to our opinions, and I was giving mine because I thought the refereeing was awful, and it isn’t just English Arsenal fans that think so. I didn’t see any foreigners posting, so I added my two cents (is that American enough for you, or is that an “exclusive”, too?). I do root for Arsenal, but I’m not a lifelong fan and am not 100% biased for them, and if they win nothing this year, oh well.

    “really nobody cares”? Except you, and 100+ others who took time to post here.

    And once again with the childish and overused insults. Is that what everyone resorts to over there when they’re out of ideas?

  124. Billy the Yid
    February 9, 2011 at 1:31 am #

    Hello again Uninteresting American, No it isn’t just English Arsenal fans that think so – it’s Arsenal fans all over the world – that’s the problem, it’s just Arsenal fans who can’t see past their own nose. They obviously know nothing about the game of football or the rules of the game – you ARE allowed to tackle Arsenal players. Other teams aren’t going to lie down and let Arsenal walk all over them – they are going to show guts like Newcastle did on Saturday – that was one of the great comebacks of all time but do Arsenal fans give them any credit at all? that’s why anyone who isn’t an Arsenal fan hates them – it’s not the team because everyone appreciates good skillful football – it’s the whining fans that everyone hates, there’s more to a game of football than attacking flair – there’s the tackling, the defence, the goalkeeping, the guts, the determination to win etc – that’s what football is all about – not whining managers, players and fans.
    ALL teams come across poor refereeing decisions over the course of the season – have Arsenal never been given a dodgy penalty? do their players never dive/cheat to win free kicks and penalties? see Theo Walcott’s own admission for that one! Have Arsenal players never made a hard tackle? To suggest (by some) that the game was fixed or referees in general “have it in” for Arsenal is pure and simply ridiculous and self pitying. If anything it’s Joey Barton that most fans “have it in” for and i must admit that includes me, can’t stand him but give him his due he didn’t react to Diaby’s attack on him.
    Even through our long history between my club and yours we are so much different as fans – we can appreciate the efforts of the other team no matter who it is.
    Thanks for the offer of squealing like a pig – go ahead if you must – but most people have had enough of that recently from Arsenal fans.
    Football in this country is nothing like an American sporting event and never will be, so why bother bringing that up? nobody is interested in what your refereeing is like.
    As far as the childish and overused insults are concerned i’ll quote you from your 2nd post: “Funny how people with no facts resort to name-calling when trying to win an argument. Wankers indeed.”
    You really didn’t need to react that way by calling people Wankers, but you did, so by your logic you must be very childish?
    Anyway i’m off for some Grits, bye Y’all

    Yours

    Billy the Yid

  125. Interested American
    February 9, 2011 at 4:11 pm #

    It’s clear that you don’t understand my point, so please stop changing the subject. I was interested in the reaction in the UK and gave my point of view as a somewhat educated (about football) American. That’s it. I never claimed the game was fixed, just poorly refereed, and it went far beyond one call, and even included at least one bad call that should have gone Newcastle’s way. If you’d read and understood my post, you would have seen that. Newcastle did play as well as any team could have, especially in the last twenty minutes, and they deserve the credit for playing that way. But even you admit that Barton should have been booked for the Arshavin tackle, which would have stopped the rest of the nonsense, again part of my argument. Maybe Arsenal would have still gone on and found a way to lose, but at least the game wouldn’t have been a free-for-all. Arsenal should have figured out a way to use that to their advantage, but Wegner and the players had no clue how to do this, apparently.

    How is football in your country different from American sporting events? Two teams show up that fans pay to see (or watch on TV) compete. Is it because football games can end in a draw that makes them different? Are you implying that somehow sports in the UK is inherently better? Is no one interested in our refereeing because it’s actually fair? I’d love to hear this “reasoning”.

    I called the guy a wanker because he posted, basically – “You suck – wankers”. I posted a reasoned argument and then pointed out that he was a wanker for having no argument. You have to back up a statement, or argument, or name-calling and he did no such thing. I didn’t call you any names because you at least are trying to argue your point – well done sir.

  126. Billy The Yid
    February 10, 2011 at 12:38 am #

    We have sayings in this country that football is a “funny old game,” “it’s a game of 2 halves” etc, and to a certain extent that’s the way we like it – we know sometimes we’ll get correct decisions from referees and sometimes they are wrong – they’re only human after all, it happens to all teams at some point so really there is no point in getting worked up about it, just move on to the next game.
    As far as American refereeing goes, well i can’t really comment too much as i’m not into American sports but don’t they stop the games to check calls? that would spoil the game of football over here – goal line technology i’m all for, but nothing else – it’s all part of the game. I won’t even mention the WWE refereeing – (not for real, i know). I don’t know where you think i was implying that sports were better in the UK? different maybe, but i would imagine not being British it would be hard for you to understand the way we like to do things over here.
    Anyway, i’ve never talked about the 4RSEN4L so much in all my life – or Newcastle for that matter, i’ve no real hatred for either of them really – i just support my own team and get on with it. Maybe Arsenal fans should do the same?

  127. TomToonArmy
    February 21, 2011 at 1:50 am #

    Newcastle fan in peace here.

    Not best pleased with the article to start with, Barton, as usual, comes in for some very harsh criticism. He has had his moments against him this year, many soft yellow cards for simply being Joey Barton, not to mention Karl Henry karate kicking him in the head for Wolves earlier in the season, he got snapped every time he had the ball and nothing was done. Nigel De Jong should have been off against Ben Arfa, not just for the injury, but the intent was there. We didn’t even get a free kick.

    Barton’s tackle was nothing like De Jong’s, he went in with ONE foot and won the ball, his other foot was tucked away, didn’t even make contact with Diaby, who reacted in a childish fashion.

    Secondly, I have always loved Arsenal because of the way they play. I found myself screaming YES YES YES when Arsenal scored against Barcelona.

    However, some people on here have once again(typically a southern trend we have found) resorted to calling us deluded. Why are we deluded? Have we said we deserve to be in Europe? Or the top 10 for that matter? We all said we would be happy with 17th, but the way this season is going, I would be disappointed if that was the case as we are doing really well. We get 50k fans through the doors who support the club because that is where they are from. We have been through the right shit recently, have won nothing since 1969 and even Sunderland is a bigger city than Newcastle, so no using the excuse that we only have 1 team in our city. It only holds 180k, so to get 50k is sensational, I am sure you will agree.

    I still have nothing against Arsenal, love watching them, but Arsenal need to start giving credit. Things were evened up in that match, Best was onside, the 2nd penalty wasn’t one, there you go.

    Phil Down refereeing NUFC this season:
    Chelsea 3-4 Newcastle(League Cup)
    Newcastle 5-1 Sunderland
    Newcastle 4-4 Arsenal

    You are welcome any time Phil 🙂

  128. ARsenal GooNer
    March 9, 2011 at 6:55 am #

    as a matter of fact the interpol did start an investigation on this game because of reported irregular bet activity (i.e. odds not changing from beginning to the end) but you prolly guessed it right, even interpol is on the game so nothing came out of it.

  129. stfu
    July 10, 2011 at 1:50 pm #

    seriously goooooners are you really that dumb you cry about a weak penalty which i agree was weak but newcastle also had a perfectly good goal disallowed so quit crying and oh btw a fix? AHHAHAHA ya because tiote’s volley was totally suppose to happen wasnt it….. morons.

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