Mixed night for the Arsenal boys as Henry’s hand sparks controversy

Mixed night for the Arsenal boys as Henry’s hand sparks controversy

Henry chats with David Dunne after his handball

The final round of World Cup qualifiers concluded yesterday evening and it was a mixed night for the Arsenal players on display.

William Gallas helped France qualify by scoring the decisive goal in their 1-1 extra-time draw with Ireland, heading home from one yard out in characteristic fashion after ex-Arsenal captain Thierry Henry’s clear handball. Bacary Sagna also featured for France and although a host of other French Arsenal players did not play the likes of Samir Nasri, Abou Diaby and Gael Clichy will have been delighted with the result. As was I, despite the manner in which it was achieved.

The big shock of the night was Andrey Arshavin and Russia missing out on the trip to South Africa after a 1-0 loss to Slovenia. For once Guus Hiddink’s magic touch deserted him as the Russians put in a rather disjointed performance in their quest for a spot at the World Cup. Slovenia were probably deserved winners over the two legs however it does not change the fact that I’m extremely disappointed that Arshavin won’t be able to play on the biggest stage of all. I just hope he can take out some of the frustration against Sunderland this weekend.

The other winners were Portugal and Greece who beat Bosnia and Ukraine respectively while Algeria completed a remarkable 1-0 win over Egypt in neutral Sudan. As much as I wanted the Egyptians to qualify – I would have rated their chances at making an impact on the tournament next year – for the Algerians to pick themselves up after the 2-0 loss in Cairo on Saturday and produce that result showed amazing character.

It would be irresponsible not to mention the handball by Henry so I thought I’d put in my two cents worth on the incident. My opinion is that although it was a clear handball and although it unfairly denied Ireland the opportunity to qualify for the World Cup, the labeling of Henry and the French as cheats and the vitriol they have received on blogs and articles has way off the mark.

What Henry did was instinctive and reactive and on slow motion looks to be very intentional. But the only reason everyone is talking about it is because the referee failed to penalise it and because it had such a decisive impact on the outcome of the match. France and Henry didn’t intentionally “cheat” to win through to South Africa, they made the most of a poor refereeing decision and in my eyes there’s nothing more to it. If the referee had failed to notice one of Robbie Keane’s handballs earlier in the game and the Irish had scored the reaction would have been exactly the same, so for me it comes down to the referee making the wrong decision and not the intentions or lack of honesty by the offending player or team.

A mate of mine at work has said that he hopes France gets thrashed in South Africa or gets knocked out in unjust circumstances – but I just can’t share his point of view. This wasn’t a premeditated attempt by the French to cheat Ireland out the game, nor was it a conspiracy against Ireland to prevent them from qualifying for the finals. It was a refereeing error, plain and simple, a similar sort of error that cost Russia against Slovenia in the incident where Alexandr Kerzakhov was wrongly sent off.

I think if this incident says anything it’s that the introduction of video technology at the highest level of football has become essential. For a team to have four years of hard work and effort taken away from them by one moment of poor refereeing is unbelievably unfair and it really needs to change. The stakes are just too high nowadays when it comes to the very highest level of the sport and I really believe it’s time for something to be done.

Moving away from the World Cup shenanigans and onto Arsenal matters now and I’m happy to announce that Eduardo has signed a new long-term contract with the club. It’s a bit of a feel-good story this with the club repaying him for his “courage, bravery and committment” in returning from his awful leg break and Eduardo repaying the faith shown in him by Arsenal by committing to the club. Personally I’m delighted and with Robin van Persie and Nicklas Bendtner both out he has a wonderful opportunity to start paying the club in the short-term with his contribution on the pitch.

Added to that great news is the very good news that Kieran Gibbs’ injury that he picked up playing for England U21 has turned out to be less of a problem than first expected. Results of the X-Ray on his foot have revealed severe bruising rather than a fracture and although he is likely to miss the game with Sunderland he should be back for Chelsea a week later.

Anyway that’s really it for today’s post. I’ll leave you with a video of Theo Walcott, Cesc Fabregas, Bacary Sagna and Andrey Arshavin dressed in giant furry animal suits to raise money for charity. Cheers!

Have your say on the World Cup, Henry’s handball, Eduardo’s contract, Gibbs’ foot or furry animals by leaving a comment.

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49 Responses to “Mixed night for the Arsenal boys as Henry’s hand sparks controversy”

  1. Tafadzwa
    November 19, 2009 at 7:22 pm #

    Thanks Henry. @ least that loudmouth Keane, wont be going to South Africa. remember his rant before the arsenal game? haha!

  2. Dan.
    November 19, 2009 at 7:37 pm #

    Thats a good thing, however bad the foul and as long as it did not involve a physical with another player being hurt. the referee is the one who should be blamed. let France qualify, it seven good that it has alot of Arsenal players, and also former players. let ireland go n sleep for another four years. for some like Keane, i think it was his last chance for the world cup, he is old.

  3. GunnerCesc4
    November 19, 2009 at 7:51 pm #

    I beg to differ mate. i have been a fan of Henry for a long time but I really felt bad about what he did.I accept it s instinctive, but he should have accepted its handball and discarded the goal. I dont think u can blame the referee ,coz he could never have seen that with so many players there.
    And what made me feel sick is Henry’s reaction after the game , saying “I am not the ref” . he caould have atleast saved his face if was apologetic and said – “sorry folks, I got carried away by the occassion.” , that would have made me feel better.
    If u do a crime and got away with it because the cops didnt see it, U r still a criminal.

  4. shambogunner
    November 19, 2009 at 9:30 pm #

    i agree andy but its not just the 4 years of hard work that should be taken into account,firstly the fai hav missed out on millions at a time where money is already tight,and more importantly the fact that given,kilbane,o shea,dunne,duff,whelan and keane may be too old when the next one comes around and for a professional footballer to hav a chance to represent his country on the biggest stage of all taken away in this manner is cruel,there can be no argument against technology when there is so much at stake
    as for henry being labelled a cheat i do not agree as it came at him so quick and although he in fact handled it twice i do not believe it was pre-meditated like maradonnas effort or that disgusting dive by anelka at 0-1…can any1 who watched the game live please tell me how lass diarra stayed on the pitch let alone avoided a yellow??what sickened me bout henry was the way he celebrated,i could understand if hed curled 1 in the top corner but he knew he had wronged and you cant call that celebration ‘instintive’
    as a neutral i understand you cannot appreciate the injustice we feel considering fifa also blatantly changed their policy to suit the bigger nations in the play-offs,this in itself is a scandal but because it was only ireland to suffer the bad luck nobody in world football cares,lucky tho that it was 15000 irish fans in that stadium last night as i can only imagine the damage if it had been other less behaved nations..lets not name them…id imagine paris wouldnt be as pretty this morning
    bottom line our great fans and honest players will not be there in the summer and frankly,as much as you like the french andy,fifa have conspired to draw the short straw and its their loss…i hope they and alot of you get the football you claim the french can play because in their group they wer poor and in the playoffs the better team wer beaten by a deflection and officiating error,a team labelled limited and not good enough who went out without stephen ireland,andy reid,carsley and stephen reid outclassed them all over the pitch last night and still had the humility to lose with dignity and with their fans…yes we will go asleep as one of you put it but id bet we’ll hav more pride and good grace than you when your team get knocked out ligitimately,let alone unjustly
    @tafadzwa,
    simply put,u are an idiot

  5. GunnerCesc4
    November 19, 2009 at 9:43 pm #

    yes we will go asleep as one of you put it but id bet we’ll hav more pride and good grace than you when your team get knocked out ligitimately,let alone unjustly

    @shambogunner,
    I am with u on that.
    The game of football had to bend its head in shame last night.

  6. Ian
    November 19, 2009 at 10:47 pm #

    Any respect or admiration i had for Henry as a great player has gone after that. I hope Michel Platini has an opinion about this as he is always harping on about cleaning up football and stopping cheating. I wonder if, because its France, if will say anything about it?

  7. shambogunner
    November 19, 2009 at 11:04 pm #

    hav just seen a post match interview with henry by french media where hes asked if he should hav told the ref he handled to which he replies
    ‘i did,after the match’
    ‘no,should you not hav made it clear at the time of the incident?’
    ‘yeah,ur funny,i should hav stopped playing and not crossed the ball,ur very funny’
    he then petulently turns to the next interviewer for any other questions.i am doubly gutted to see an icon behave so poorly and show no remorse for such a huge incident,wot sort of a role model is he…in my eyes he has zero integrity and is not a sprtsman in any form,simply because of his actions since he squared that ball

  8. StarGhazzer
    November 19, 2009 at 11:27 pm #

    I find it funny to see the response of some people over here. What Henry did was not the most honest thing that could ever happen on a football pitch, but put yourselves in his shoes – Your team is losing in the dying minutes and the ball is going out, it’s an instinctive and reflexive action to just knock the ball back in play. You don’t even think about it. How many times did any football player own up to such mistakes? I can only remember Di Canio doing it once and that’s it. Rooney didn’t say anything when he dived to stop our 50th unbeaten streak while Gerrard openly condemned diving when he has an amazing videoclip on youtube.

    And if anyone bothers to look at the clip again, the first handball was an accidental bounce rather than anything intentional. The second one looks guilty as charged though. Calling him to have “zero integrity” is pure nonsense:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/fa_cup/3037097.stm

    He’s no saint, but he’s far from being a sinner.

    For people to forget the wonderful things Henry did for Arsenal, EPL, and international football because of an isolated incident is purely pathetic.

    It’s unfortunate and it’s injustice for the Irish, but for other people to show such wrath it’s merely hypocritical.

    Henry shall remain as one of Arsenal’s and EPL’s finest players, nothing will ever change that.

  9. radads
    November 19, 2009 at 11:34 pm #

    Great post Andy!! How would our Sunderland’s game line up look like???
    With Clichy, Kieran Gibbs, RVP all out, Its quite scary, and we are going to play an away game agst a really strong home side!!!. We cant afford to loose agst Suinderland cos We might draw agst Chelsea.I just hope that Theo would come back agst Chelsea next week then our Mercedes quatro line up is back again:

    ————-SONG———-

    ————-FAB———–

    THEO——————–Arsha

  10. shambogunner
    November 19, 2009 at 11:48 pm #

    @starghazzar,
    u would do wel to actually read what i wrote,he has no integrity because of the manner in which he wheeled away and played to the french crowd and afterwards showed no remorse but border line contempt when being interviewed,understandably you are well outside this debate but what you hav written is nonsense,it was ball to hand twice and since when did winning at any cost when your teams being outplayed become something to defend
    im a lifelong arsenal fan and irishman and while i will always appreciate what henry did while at arsenal any1 with a brain and objectivity will admit his actions since that handball hav exposed a lack of sportsmanship and integrity…..fact
    to come on and defend him and the incident shows a distinct lack of football knowledge as well as shortsightedness at what was on the line last night and the way the game unfolded,but uv probably only seen replays of the incident and not the whole game,if so its more reason for you to button it

  11. Bruce in Atlanta
    November 19, 2009 at 11:53 pm #

    Well the good news is that Eduardo is no longer the greatest villain in the history of the universe — it’s now T.Henry.

    Unfortunately, they’re both still miles ahead of Hitler, Osama Bin Laden, and Kenny G.

  12. shambogunner
    November 19, 2009 at 11:55 pm #

    lollllllllllllllll
    iv just clicked ur link there to read wot ur using to proves thierrys honesty…is that all you cud get,a def praisng him for stayin on his feet when he had just the keeper to beat????
    not going down when you can score against southampton on a sat in the premier league as opposed to handling twice to set up a deciding goal in a world cup playoff when uv been outfought and outplayed….yeah i can see how that matches up
    the higher profile the game….the more people watching,the more an example should be set as a professional
    next youl be sayin zidane was pushed into matterazi

  13. Tafadzwa
    November 20, 2009 at 12:16 am #

    @shambogunner – you sound bitter!

  14. billi
    November 20, 2009 at 12:45 am #

    I’m terribly sorry for Shava and the Russians, I would have loved it to see them playing next year, I’m looking forward to see ‘Les Bleus’, regardless of this incident. That’s the life of football. That’s life itself. Where is Walter?

  15. shambogunner
    November 20, 2009 at 1:17 am #

    tafadzwa,
    it would be easy to be bitter…im dissapointed not bitter,if we wer a bitter nation wed hav gone around thrashing stadiums and wrecking bars and restaurants when we feel aggrieved, iv tried to be dignified and objective but some of the comments really are ridiculous and for you to applaud what happened last night just on the basis of robbie keane playing for spurs was enough to drive me to react,and if you can truly begrudge the other 15 honest sportsmen in that squad what they earned and deserved against the odds last night solely because keane plays for those tossers,im sorry then you truly are an idiot

  16. Abolade
    November 20, 2009 at 1:18 am #

    Thank God for gibbs,hope to see him in action as soon as possible.

  17. Gunna shah
    November 20, 2009 at 2:13 am #

    I think its time to do something about this,over the 2 legs,ireland were clearly the better side,that notwithstanding this particular french team is the worst i´ve seen in decades,and they have no bussines going to the world cup.It is time for replays to be reviewed in some cases and goaline technology to be applied in other cases,i think we human being have come of age to realise that we humans are not perfect,no matter how hard we try,so for sepp blatter to keep resisting replays and goal line technology is quite baffling to me,i can´t really understand why 3 socalled officials could make a decision,a decision in which the whole world saw to be a foul,and its allowed to stand,and a nation is left,heartbroken,cheated and bitter,i am an african,but as a fan of football,i felt terrible seeing this,and i beg the question,if someone other than the team is not benefiting from this,why can´t the officials be allowed to take a look at the replays in order to officiate the game better? I call on the irish to keep making noise about this,and all true football loving people to stand with the irish,so genuine changes can be brought to the game,the americans made the same changes to the nba and nfl,and its made the game much better to watch.@ shambogunner, i feel you mate,and i hope something´s done about this,cause the stench of what i saw last night is reeking for a name,and michel platini as uefa president,only makes for more finger pointing.

  18. shambogunner
    November 20, 2009 at 2:41 am #

    @gunnershah and gunnercesc,
    thanks for the common sense fellas

  19. senior citizen
    November 20, 2009 at 2:48 am #

    I feel very sorry for Ireland.
    Well I am a fan of France and Henry in particular, but eliminating Ireland in such circumstances is unfair.

    Actually I would say I am a fan of both teams. Any way, Football is Football.

    But Andy I would love to add my voice to yours in calling for video technology to be introduced in this Competitions. Man utd wouldn’t have taken last years Premier league, and they would be lagging behind right now.

    That said, I would love to wish for all the Gunners a Blessed weekend.

  20. Dec
    November 20, 2009 at 3:06 am #

    Andy, you are a idiot plain and simple. If Henry did the same against Arsenal in the Champions League final, what would your reaction be then? Its cheating, no doubt about it and you are just blind. Years of hard work and this is how he will be remembered!!!!

  21. Me
    November 20, 2009 at 3:18 am #

    There are far too many idiots on here making stupid comments as it is, so for all you morons out there blaming The Arsenal for knocking Ireland out of the World GROW UP. The game was over two legs Ireland should have put it to bed in their home leg.

  22. malcolm
    November 20, 2009 at 3:21 am #

    I beg the question if the handball goal not had been allowed.Who would have won Ireland or France?This I feel we will never know ,as I think it would have had to go to Pens and we all know thats 50 50 .

  23. Gibbs
    November 20, 2009 at 5:59 am #

    People’s reaction towards Henry’s handball is ott imo. Sure he cheated and it was wrong for him to do it, but players cheat on a weekly basis and they’ve been cheating since the begining of football. Why is Henry being used as a scapegoat?

    did the british make such a fuss when Owen’s dive won England a penalty that knocked Argentina out of the world cup? or when Gerrard dived agains Milan in the CL final? what about Rooney’s dive that ended Arsenal’s unbeaten run in ’04? and when Man Utd were denied a penalty when Terry clearly pulled Valencia down 2 weeks ago?

    It’s another case of xenophobia from the british again, it reminds me of the Pires and Eduardo incidences. When an english man cheats its okay, but when a foreigner does the same he becomes public enemy number 1.

    Cheating is a part of the game that we all want to get rid off, but a consistency is needed. All players who cheat must be treated the same way.

  24. Jagenda
    November 20, 2009 at 6:05 am #

    That is foot ball,those acts happen you know,we’ve seen goal rather ball being pulled out of net the likes of man u instance,people will get over it.thanx.

  25. OM
    November 20, 2009 at 6:31 am #

    All due respect, Anelka should have had a penalty. It all evens out.

    And, to those speaking of injustice, please take the time to rant when the likes of Keane, Rooney, Gerard, Owen, etc. continue cheating week after week. In the dozen years I have watched Henry play, he has been among the most honest plyers out there. Yes, yesterdays was dodgy, but its the crap that English and Irish players do all the time!

  26. shambogunner
    November 20, 2009 at 6:52 am #

    firstly we are not talking about lads cheating week in week out because these incidents result in a team maybe losin 3pts,or even the unbeaten run,but to cost a team 2 years of qualifying and end players careers in terms of world cup competition there can be no comparison, c’mon now if your gonna chip in with your two cents at least think about wot your sayin,this has nothing to do with english bias or rooney and gerrard cheating in the PL every sat afternoon…and you cant say the irish are being bad losers as we lost harshly on sat and still kept the faith and didnt gripe….the facts are there for all to see,insult your on intelligence if you like by makin these stupid defence pleas for henry…im arsenal through and through,i come on this site every day to talk arsenal and let me tell you first he has blemished his brilliant career by not being more sensitive and honest to the severity of what happened last night
    @OM, you my friend havnt a clue,anelka played for the pen and hung his leg out….did you see him jump around or chase the ref to appeal????and you label the double hand ball control ‘dodgy’….but the statement youv made about the irish being cheats takes the complete buiscuit,name 1 irishman who deserves to be in the rooney,gerrard category you mention…name 1….let me guess….robbie keane, the guy who at 0-0 vs chelsea this season tried desperately to stay on his feet after carvalho took his legs away only to have a stonewaller turned away
    honestly i thought this was the best forum for people with proper opinions and thoughtful insight into the game but today i stand corrected….i dont expect you to put yourselves in our shoes but at least put your brains in gear before you start typing

  27. Gibbs
    November 20, 2009 at 7:16 am #

    Shambogunner, dont let your bitterness cloud your judgement. You clearly didnt understand my last post so im going to ask you to read it again.

    btw, your defence of Keane was pathetic. He’s cheated a lot of times for Spurs and Ireland, now you’re citing one incident to prove what an honest player he is? lol, give me a break.

  28. OM
    November 20, 2009 at 7:57 am #

    I have watched Keane enough times in the Prem cheat, so let’s leave it there.

    If you need other examples, look at McGeady. Just a week after complaining about Eduardo being the antichrist, he is booked for a blatant dive but will not own up.

    This is not singling out Irish players, but a British mentality of selective amnesia. Every footballing nation are cheats. it is regrettably the nature of the game. If you selectively use that term when your side is on the wrong side, have thick ebnough skin to acknowledge your side cheats as well.

    Owen took Argentina out of the World Cup. does anyone even mention Crouch rip the hair out ogf teh poor player last world cup so he could score. I could go on forever with the doublestandard, but the point is clear.

    Nobody turns a situational switch on in extra time that says “ok, we are now playing by different standards… especially because we are not British.”

    shambogunner, if you want to opine about candid and proper opinions take a look at the mirror and stay there till the blood rushes out of your head before posting.

    And, yes the Irish are bad losers. After the first tie, all they did was complain about Diarra. After the second tie, they demand a replay. or, as many Irish are complaining, did you expect Henry to run to the official telling him to disallow the goal. Grow up!

  29. Larry
    November 20, 2009 at 9:24 am #

    good post andy.

    you have to feel for the irish that the goal came from a handball. You can understand their frustrations, but do they honestly believe they can get the game replayed??? what sort of precedent would that set?

    Not seen too much press coverage of the game, but would expect TH14 to admit the handball. Even if he would have admitted to the ref he handballed it at the time, the ref cant change his mind if he hasn’t seen it. It happens in games, it was a handball but its up to the ref to penalise it.

    Shame, as would have been good to see ireland at the world cup but they left it til extra time of a qualifier to try and make it thru and now lose out to a referees mistake.

    anyway onto sunderland game, so forget internationals they just get in the way of the prem league. be interesting to see who Arsene starts

  30. Darragh
    November 20, 2009 at 10:38 am #

    Andy, I do agree with you on the the issue of Henry generally. The result is unfortunate for Ireland and it was a refereeing mistake – a shameful miss by all four officials. Keane would have taken the goal in the exact same fashion, had the tables been turned.

    However, I believe the system has failed Ireland. FIFA changed the qualification rules when it became clear that ‘bigger’ nations might not make it through. As a consequence, regardless of the outcome, Ireland and other smaller nations – like Bosnia have been royally screwed.

    As an Irish fan, this has played out in the most harsh way possible. If Ireland had drawn France under the old system, then I would have no complaints, but the fact that the rules were changed to benefit ‘bigger’ teams like France is what really grates on me.

    France do not deserve to be at the world cup under such circumstances, and I do not agree that just because they’re a big nation with a rich footballing history does not mean that they should be handed an express ticket to the finals.

  31. Darragh
    November 20, 2009 at 10:40 am #

    Larry – actually FIFA have ordered replayed world cup games in the past. There is already a precedent.

    “There is precedent for the invalidation of such results. In 2005, the bureau of the Fifa World Cup organising committee reached a decision to invalidate the result of a World Cup qualification match between Uzbekistan and Bahrain on the basis of a ‘technical error by the referee of the match’.” [Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/internationals/8368100.stm%5D

  32. Shane
    November 20, 2009 at 11:59 am #

    bllaaaahhhh i mean we can all understand the frustration of Ireland. And the frustration of those football lovers who feel teh game has been robbed. I do understand teh sentiments fo those posting. But I am not a fan of overturning results because of an incident. Arsenal copped it when Eduardo was cited for diving. What outraged Arsenal fans is that divers like Didhefall Drogba were never prosecuted. And then there was a witch hunt to punish him.
    It really annoyed me that this would happen. Irregardless of what goes on, it happens in teh games and irregardless of what goes on throughout matches. These things do have a tendency to reoccur.

  33. darragh
    November 20, 2009 at 2:05 pm #

    Shane, a point I raised on an article I just wrote regarding my own feelings on the incident might be relevant (http://www.darraghmurray.com/opinion/ffs-fifa/).

    Why do fans have to accept such unfairness such as handballs, diving and other extremely dubious decisions. Why isn’t goal-line technology used?

    To uphold tradition? Tradition might have once dictated that people play the game fairly – that is clearly not the case nowadays as money outweighs any moral requirements to play the game in good faith.

    It is now time the world embraced goal line technology in football.

  34. leany
    November 20, 2009 at 2:17 pm #

    cheat is cheat. why must man make a difference between a week-after-week cheat and the other cheats? can I not deceive in important games but can in not-important ones? don’t say that. lose 3pts can absolutely many next games of the whole effortful nine-month season.

  35. leany
    November 20, 2009 at 2:18 pm #

    what is called ‘not-important games’?

  36. francowadz
    November 20, 2009 at 5:20 pm #

    Am not a fan of France but avery great fan of Arsenal, Henry did something bad anyway but remember these 2 occasions, Sagna thought the ball had crossed the line and caught it to throw in a hurry and the referee blew the whistle for handball, If Henry was getting frustrated that the ball was going past him and stopped it with his hand, he was risking a card but did not care, he tried his luck out and it decided the game! His reaction is personal anyway but before then the game was 50/50 and France would have still won maybe. Mistakes happen in football and the referee’s mistake/decision is final others are swallowed as sports men who live to fight another day

  37. GetGunMN
    November 20, 2009 at 5:25 pm #

    The Irish got screwed, no question about it. I completely understand your frustration regarding this game. But cheating in sport is not supposed to be punished only because of the weight of the competition. Cheating breaks the heart of the losing team regardless of the competition. In reality we will never know if the Irish team even make it through after the shootout.

    By the way, FIFA allowed a replay before only because the ref interpreted the law of the game wrong, not because of missed call. Also, I read in an article today that the seeding actually happened before the 2006 WC too.

    Video technology will solve these issues for sure. But this outcry for TH14’s head is ridiculous. Take a deep breath and let it go! Football ref’s calls have been win some lose some, and always have been.

  38. Shane Nash
    November 20, 2009 at 5:28 pm #

    Darragh- I agree with what you are saying. But goal line technology would do nothing to help prevent this from happening. We should applaud FIFA for standing strong on this point. There is no limitations on when video refs should be used. And I think that it should remain strong on the position which suggests that only referees can rule on diving. As only referees can rule on hand ball. While these things are terrible. But video refs would not have helped in the first place.

    I don’t support my stance because of tradition, instead because i have seen video refs get it wrong many times. Ruling on things that they shouldn’t rule on, and ruling on something where traditionally an attacker rightfully should have been given bennefit of the doubt, yet it is taken away because that bennefit is not afforded because neither side presses an overwhelming cause.

  39. shambogunner
    November 20, 2009 at 10:46 pm #

    to om and gibbs,
    im not sure where your from but lets just wait for your international team to suffer such an injustice with so much at stake
    i take on board that mcgeady,and maybe keane,hav and do dive but to say we we whinging at diarra is a joke,the guy made a provocative and unprofessional comment designed to get a rise out of the players….wev witnessed his attitude first hand and the guy is a selfish mercenary when it comes to previous clubs,id be picking a different fella to paint the saintly picture of if i were you
    i never wanted a replay,it doesnt make sense but i would hav liked henry and fifa to come out and issue an apology to our players and fans,anyway its done know and half your comments are made just to get a rise so i wont oblige you again….by the way the reported loss of revenue for irelands footballing body is reported to be £90 million,ah shur its peanuts in the current climate and we shud just get on with it and stop being bitter….yep damn sore losing irish always lookin for a helping hand of loophole

  40. Ianinja
    November 21, 2009 at 1:32 am #

    Why is everyone linking Henry with Arsenal, he’s a Barca player. An injustice to the Irish but a deliberate handball is not a first to happen in a football game of immense importance. Barca fans cant be bothered with Henry, why should we? Maybe he cheated, we’re all humans so let it go, Henry will always be an Arsenal legend cheat or not. I’m more upset that I won’t see Russia or Bosnia in the world cup.

  41. OM
    November 21, 2009 at 5:51 am #

    shambogunner,

    Maybe Irish players should apologize to the people of Georgia?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jf9fx4ipF4Q

    Not only is it a blantant and intentional handball by Keane, but a farcical penalty decision. Didn’t Keane know the stakes for Georgia, Bulgaria and maybe even Italy? Why did he cheat?

    You can choose to not respond, or better yet to be silent from the get go if you can’t accept reality.
    Many (not all) Irish supporters, the FAI, and the Irish gov’t are making international idiots of themselves. How can a team which just months ago cheated Georgia with a blatant hand ball, and the referee having given one of the most curious penalty decisions in history, then complain about anybody not respecting the integrity of the game? Why didnt Keane stop the ball? Why didn’t the FAI apologize?

    Oh the hypocracy

  42. darragh
    November 21, 2009 at 8:32 am #

    OM, the penalty was given for a handball on a Georgian defender. It had nothing to do with Keane or offside.

  43. Andy @ Arsenal FC Blog
    November 21, 2009 at 6:16 pm #

    @ darragh – That’s the point, Keane got away with handballing it.

  44. shambogunner
    November 21, 2009 at 8:09 pm #

    yep i could not believe that decision it was outrageous and every bit as bad as wed nights… but we wer denied pen appeals and had big decisions go against us in group games and thats why i believe i stated that in a playoff its completely different as i think youl agree ther are more than the 3 points at a stake and youl find,if you watched all the group games,that these things even themselves out
    listen man the one thing i am not is a hypocrite,i stand by my opinions that ireland hav been robbed and should be in s africa,you can go back to 19dickety2 if you want to find more clips of the irish gettin a decision but it pales in comparison to the enormity of wed nights game…..an estimated 100million lost to the economy aswel as the players and fans being mugged….id be sayin the same thing if it wer eng,scot,wales,holland,australia, etc,etc, but what goes around comes around and i know il be in here again when some other country,maybe yours,gets robbed and lets just see how you feel….hopefully it wont be an former or current arsenal player at the centre of the controversy so we can be objective next time and not sentimental

  45. shambogunner
    November 21, 2009 at 8:18 pm #

    @laninja,
    dont get my last post wrong mate i am not defending that it was embarrasing and keane,as captain, should hav been a man and told the ref he made a mistake,but the way he grabbed the ball amidst the georgians complaining to the ref smacks of everything i hav been complaining about this week,but listen does that mean the other 15 squad members should suffer because keane lacks as much integrity as henry?i hav been surprised how easy lads hav found it to favour the french in this argument….and laninja may i ask you nationality mate

  46. Ianinja
    November 24, 2009 at 12:17 am #

    Shambogunner, I am not favouring Henry or the french, its just irritating that the media blames Arsenal for Henry’s farce. I’m not surprise Arsenal fans would still defend Henry, but to me he’s no longer a part of AFC, an important part of our history but I dont see the need to defend him. I do see the injustice to the Irish and I understand the meaning of the shamrock.

    Maybe my post came out wrong,all I’m saying is handball could happen in any game and I wished the media stop linking Henry with Arsenal, all they are doing is taking this chance to patronize the Irish and Arsenal at the same time. Hope I cleared the misunderstanding.

  47. OM
    November 24, 2009 at 5:57 am #

    shambogunner

    I feel for you. You support your national side and that’s great. But, as you seem to acknowledge, their have been some shmbollic decisoons for Ireland, and players who have, in world cup qualifiers, intentionally crossed the line.

    That Keane committed the same intentional act which Henry did is just one example. There was no apology from the FAI or FIFA to the Georgians. there were no Irish players who were apologetic. No ex-Irish internationals were commenting (and save for Roy Keane, have even acknowledged it.)

    That one is a qualifier and the other a playoff has no bearing. Both were intentional, and at least Henery can make a half-hearted claim at an instictual act, whereas Keane saw the ball in flight for 40 yds and basically caught it.

    Ireland have no standing to complain after such a similar and more intional incident towards qualification for the same tournament.

  48. OM
    November 24, 2009 at 5:59 am #

    darragh

    Keane caught the ball in the air to set up the play.

  49. shambogunner
    November 24, 2009 at 7:12 am #

    no prob dudes its done anyway and im resigned to watching the worldcup on my couch you both hav valid points…maybe moreso than me

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