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Arsenal Should Feel Hard Done-By After Crucial Officiating Mistakes Vs Sunderland

PL Highlights: Arsenal/Sunderland

Two critical calls by officials in Saturday’s Arsenal against Sunderland match unfairly went against the Gunners in a match that may have a massive impact on the 2010-11 Premier League title race.

In an evenly matched game between Arsenal and Sunderland, where the Mackems had their chances to win the game too, there were two pivotal moments that will haunt Arsenal supporters.

In the 87th minute, with Arsenal on the attack (see above video), Nicklas Bendtner delivered a delightful through-ball that split open the Sunderland defense and allowed Andrey Arshavin to run on, to control the ball and push it around Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet and knock it into the net. However, the assistant referee had raised his flag for offside and Sunderland was awarded a free-kick instead.

When I watched the game in real-time, the decision initially looked like a sound one as Arshavin appeared to be well offside. However, after seeing the TV replay, it looked like Arshavin was either marginally behind or level with the Sunderland defender when Bendtner struck the pass.

To be completely fair, the angle of the TV replay wasn’t as good as it could have been. I was hoping for a long shot that was in a vertical line with the incident, but the best we got instead was a diagonal view from one of the cameras along the touchline. But it still appeared that Arsenal had a valid goal unfairly chalked off.

In the other key incident in the game, in the 81st minute Arshavin was again involved (see video below).

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In this instance, Samir Nasri played a lovely through-ball for Arshavin to collect and then bolted down the pitch alongside Titus Bramble as the Sunderland player tried to stop him. There seemed to be some minimal contact between Bramble and Arshavin as they ran towards the box, but at the moment when Arshavin drew his leg back to prepare his shot on goal, Bramble pushed Arshavin which pushed him off balance and resulted in the Russian’s shot going wide instead of on goal.

It was a stone cold penalty decision but referee Anthony Taylor didn’t seem bothered and called for a goal kick instead.

In both cases for Arsenal, they were undone by poor officiating decisions. Rather than it being a conspiracy against Arsenal, the simple fact of the matter is that we, the TV viewers, have an unfair advantage over the officials in that we can analyze the game on TV and see replays of incidents which referees don’t have the luxury of seeing during games. So while the officials made two critical wrong decisions Saturday, it’s more of a illustration of how wrong FIFA’s policy on no video evidence is rather than two simple human mistakes.

The two mistakes by officials are cruel blows to Arsenal’s title race aspirations. The 0-0 draw could have a massive impact on who will become the Premier League title winner especially if Manchester United wins tomorrow against Liverpool and widens the gap between first and second.

What do you think? Should Arsenal players and fans feel hard done-by after the referee’s decisions today? Or is this just a norm in English football where you win some and lose some decisions? Share your opinion in the comments section below.

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  1. Keith

    March 7, 2011 at 8:39 am

    1. Seeing the play the first time I thought Arshavin was offsides and I bet 90% of the fans watching the game thought so too. Sometimes when the defenders step up and the forward runs the other way a player onside looks way offside. And sometimes officials won’t get this call right. The game is so fast and there are so many close calls that sometimes bad calls will happen.

    2. EPL fans hate what 70% of officials. If there are that many bad officials then clearly the EPL is not churning out officials at a high enough level. You can’t dump 1/2 of all the officials and replace them with thin air. The FA needs to put more into training officials or give them some help. Replay or extra officials could help, I don’t know. But if it’s a problem throughout the league you can’t attack one official. Clearly it’s a larger problem that one crew. The first step is to make officiating a full time job so they can train/review during the week and not just be part time officials.

    3. Because players have made diving a tactic (since Jurgen Klinsmann) officials are more willing to let questionable calls go. Clearly Arshavin should have had a PK but because he goes down whenever he’s touched I wouldn’t have called it either. Officials don’t like to be the one that are fooled by an acting act and calling a fake PK for a win is worse than not calling a real PK. EPL needs to target diving by fining and listing (to embarrass) players who dive. This will clean up the crap diving we’ve seen and will let officials feel more confident in calling PKs when a player goes down in the box.

    • Jay

      March 7, 2011 at 11:25 pm

      Problem was, two stepped up, one held the line, clearly playing him on (sorry forgot the name of the defender that played him on).

      Should have been an easy catch. What, I imagine, happened is that the official saw the two Arshavin was beyond and raised his flag. By the time he noticed the trailing defender, it was to late to change his decision.

      Overall, bad call.

  2. Ankit

    March 6, 2011 at 6:22 am

    My fellow gunners it seems if we lose 3-4 of our top players we look nowhere near a champion team & that too at the Emirates. Agreed some of the decisions were very bad & nothing can be said about it & I wonder if referring is this bad in every other league ? Since the new year I have witnessed some very bad referring in almost every other match & almost every match of Arsenal’s like we are the magnet of bad lucks. To be a league winner you need hardwork & luck, the latter seems to be a seductress we can’t get undressed. Though I fear this misfortune trickles from the top. I fail to understand Wenger, very recently this man said that BPL is a priority even over CL & then at the crux he puts his trusts on misfits like the DD (Denilson & Diaby) when clearly he has better options like the RR (Ramsey & Roscisky) even Eboue seems more determined than those 2, this was a perfect match to relaunch Ramsey but I am sure there are some favours Wenger owes to the DDs that we don’t know about !! Me being a freshman in the Arsenal fan body is baffled by Wenger’s inability or stubbornness to have a Plan B, to change formations that are simple not working, to be more proactive from the sidelines. It is as if he will accept his team’s fate whatever it maybe from all that has been decided before the match. Was this the same Wenger that lead the Invincibles ??? Not to mention he loans the wrong people.

    As a championship contention side we should have created more chances than only those which were controversial, keep that as a buffer & if it isn’t happening it is the job of the manager to change things around to make it happen & our manager fails miserably at this, just keeping a crude face & loosening your zip at the neck doesn’t cut it for me !!!

  3. ste

    March 6, 2011 at 6:15 am

    Maybe Arsenal should start payin the officials like Man Hoof do?, the ref musn’t have been able to find the King’s Road Little Chef cafe to meet the Hoof’s middle men last Monday.

  4. wendy

    March 6, 2011 at 4:34 am

    i hope that Arsenal be a winner !!!

  5. Sir TY

    March 6, 2011 at 1:48 am

    The technology is here to stay (it’s not going anywhere), we live in the 22nd century where technology is a part of everyday life – what is the FA so afraid of using it is beyond me. Todays ref and his decisions definitely cost us the game and may have cost us the chance to win the league. It’s appauling how week in, week out these refs do make the wrong decisions and there is no consequence. I can see it now, the ref comes out with an apology or something to the effect of he didn’t see it or got the decision wrong but refs a game in the next few days, does not get reprimanded in any way. They make their reports yes but really have no one to answer to where they get deducted wages or gets suspended for making the wrong decision and the linesman are no better. Far to often these refs get away with their wrong decisions and don’t ask for help because they feel they are in control. Just like the players who get booked or managers who get fined if they do something wrong in the game, the refs decisions should carry consequences for it’s actions if it’s wrong and you see how quickly they change their tune when their livelyhood is at stake.

    • Keith

      March 7, 2011 at 8:15 am

      We live in the 22nd century? Maybe you do but nobody else here does.

      Sorry but that invalidates anything else you say in that post.

  6. Art V

    March 5, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    Arsenal got robbed today…
    Poor officiating..

  7. CTBlues

    March 5, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    I have seen worse non-calls before happen to Chelsea. Last year in Milan when Lucio rugby tackled Drogba on a set piece and the year before in London when Anelka and Drogba were fouled in the penalty area in the UCL semifinal.

  8. Earl Reed

    March 5, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    There were a number of suspicious calls, but Arsenal had at least 3 chances that were muffed up. My opinion is that every single person in that lineup is waiting for someone else to be the hero. Even Nasri has failed to score in the Premier League in over two months. It’s a team of brilliant passers, maybe Wenger should tell them that the back of the net is one of their teammates.

    • Andrei

      March 6, 2011 at 1:12 am

      You are probably right generally speaking. But in this particular game I felt that Arsenal had enough edge over Sunderland to get all 3 points. Unfortunately for them the edge was negated by some really bad referee calls. Sunderland is a good team and playing against them you cannot simply shrug off wrongly disallowed goal. It doesn’t matter if it is Arsenal, United or Chelsea. On Tuesday we learned that United don’t do any better if calls don’t go their way.

  9. efrain

    March 5, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    I agree with Jose, above…… managers get one challenge per half. Instant replay and a ref in the video booth makes the final call. This way, all is not lost on horrible calls, and the game is not slowed down that much as it can only be stopped a max of 4 times.

  10. satan

    March 5, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    The penalty (or rather non-penalty) decision was horrible but I gotta defend the officials on the other one. I will blow the same trumpet again. If we the viewers need 2-3 SLOW MOTION replays to decide if it is offside or not, you just cannot fault a human being for his on-field decision.

    • Elbereth

      March 6, 2011 at 7:09 am

      Dude, it is his JOB. He’s a professional ref.

  11. Frustrated Gunner

    March 5, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    I agree, the refs performed poorly. I also agree that FIFA has dropped the ball in a huge and ridiculous manner by not allowing video replay.

    Yes, the refs made mistakes, but watching the game in hi-def live I didn’t think they had made mistakes UNTIL I had seen the replays.

    My proposal is a “challenge” type of video replay where each team would be allowed up to two challenges during the game. The refs would also be allowed to use video replay at their discretion for important decisions (penalties, cards, violent acts, etc…). I hope that it is just a matter of time before this improvement is implemented. I don’t think the delays will be substantial and regardless I would prefer to deal with small delays in the game to the unacceptable refereeing decisions we see on a regular basis.

    That said, after the recent decisions of FIFA in selecting the upcoming World Cup hosts I am less than optimistic that they will come to their senses on this one.

  12. Terry

    March 5, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    If Arshavin had gone down and not attempted the out-of-balance shot the referee might have given the penalty. This goes to show that you are better off going down if you want to win a penalty rather than stay on your feet. The FA needs to address the poor officiating that is so prevalent in the EPL.

    • satan

      March 5, 2011 at 8:03 pm

      Unfortunately, we have reached a stage where a player has to ‘sell’ the foul in order to get the other guy punished. The same thing happens in the NFL and the NBA too. Slight physical contact & the player goes down while players who have a physical approach to the game get penalized.

      • Andrei

        March 5, 2011 at 9:00 pm

        I had exactly the same reaction. Arshavin didn’t try to sell the incident by going down easily. To me his conduct was exemplary in this situation he didn’t even protest that much just stayed there in disbelief. All credit goes to him for trying to play straight honest game. Which brings very uneasy thought about the state of officiating in EPL. In the span of just one week we had three dubious incidents. Last Saturday McCarty didn’t “overplay” the elbow hit by Rooney and didn’t get the right call. This Saturday Arshavin also tried to play honestly and got punished. Here is moral dilemma for Arsenal fans: would you have prefered for Arshavin to go down easily and win the team three valuable points? On the other hand on Tuesday Zhirkov went down on the slightest contact with Smalling and got rewarded. Do you think that the way EPL games are officiating by often not giving “honest” players the right calls in a way encourages play acting and diving?

        • Keith

          March 7, 2011 at 8:26 am

          Zhirkov was tripped. You don’t need to be tackled to fall. Sometimes if someone catches your foot when you’re running you fall. Zhirkov didn’t fly or just fall down. His foot was caught.

          Arshavin should have had a penalty shot but he and many other players (like Drogba and Ronaldo) have hurt their standing in officials eyes by diving in the past. The officials don’t trust these guys and I wouldn’t either.

          Institute a diving fine (start at 20k and double every time it reoccurs in 1 season) and publicly list everyone who’s been fined. When players quit diving officials will start giving more PKs when they’re deserved like it was here.

      • Keith

        March 7, 2011 at 8:20 am

        NFL sells fouls? Haha yeah okay. They fight through holds and face masks and do anything they can to win the game.

        NBA went soft when they started giving superstars extra protection.

        • Jay

          March 7, 2011 at 11:15 pm

          Tell this to the wide receivers who make it a point to go down acrobatically, and come up looking for a flag when they were beaten on a play…

  13. brn442

    March 5, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    Ah, yes – when a manager fails to build a team with the spine or focus needed to win the league, he can always fall back on the “hard done by” excuse – are you watching Rafa Benitez?

    • Phenoum

      March 5, 2011 at 5:56 pm


      My questions is what the @#$ are you watching…

      • brn442

        March 5, 2011 at 8:06 pm

        @ Phenoum, I have no idea what you’re talking about fella.

    • Murph

      March 5, 2011 at 6:37 pm

      brn442 — “spine and focus”…? WTF . This is about horrible officiating. Ahhh, You must be a Chelsea fan – as you obviously like being “hard done by.”

      • brn442

        March 5, 2011 at 8:05 pm

        Murph – No. it’s about Arsenal failing – yet again, of fully taking advantage after Manchester faltered. Not exactly the character of a league winning side. Refereeing decisions alone, are not going to decide this season’s champions I assure you.

        • Sir TY

          March 6, 2011 at 2:09 am

          brn442 ‘Refereeing decisions alone, are not going to decide this season’s champions I assure you.’ Oh yeah, tell that to Man U last year when they played Chelsea and Drogba scored the ‘winner’ – the difference – 2 points, Chelsea won the league by ….2 pts.

          • Sacto Blues

            March 6, 2011 at 7:56 am

            which was followed by Macheda’s hand ball goal make up call.

          • brn442

            March 6, 2011 at 11:10 am

            Sir TY – are you saying Manchester fell short of a 19th title last season soley because of refereeing decisions?

          • Sir TY

            March 6, 2011 at 3:43 pm

            No, brn but making it sound like it has no bearing on a game or the league is like living in lalaland. For you to say their decisions alone doesn’t decide who wins the title maybe true but the refs decisions DOES influence the outcome of games which at the end of the day decides who wins and who loses in the league. And Joe, the facts you point out IS true facts and I would be the first to say it was wrong if that was the case but it wasn’t, Man City did close up shop, Sawcross of Stoke did break one of our players leg (those are facts not us not taking responsibility) but thats the beauty of freedom of speech, one can agree to disagree.

        • Joe

          March 6, 2011 at 8:28 am

          Exactly brn. It’s beyond hilarious to listen to Arsenal fans blame everyone but their own team when things don’t go right. Remember when they failed to score against Manchester City and it was Man City’s fault for playing dull? Remember when whiny Wenger b$tched about Stoke’s “rugby tactics”? Arsenal never take responsibility for their own shortcomings, which is probably why we’re in year six of no trophies. Champions are honest with themselves about what’s wrong and fix it. They don’t whine and complain about everyone else.

          • brn442

            March 6, 2011 at 11:16 am

            Exactly Joe, I’m not saying The Arsenal or their supporters shouldn’t have been frustrated with the officials yesterday but as you’ve said – Stoke, Bolton, Leeds and other “anti-football” sides have had a much bigger impact on denying The Gunners the league, the past 10 years.

  14. Murph

    March 5, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    Referee Reform, I’ve been calling for it for years… I’m an Arsenal fan (full disclosure) and feel slighted by today’s atrocities. I also agree with and support Fergie in his condemnation of the refs in the Chelsea match as Louis should have been sent off, but in all honesty, that foul on Rooney should not have even been a story as Rooney should have been serving a 3 match ban for his vicious elbow that the FA chose to not see (see Rooney FA poster boy). It seems that there are fewer and fewer refs I’m happy to see take the field each week in England.

    So here I am, watching AC Milan / Jueve – and I’m noticing how fair and consistent the reff is — and an idea comes to me.

    Why not poach the best reffs from other top leagues? I mean if they can work in England, who says they have to be English. An EU passport or working papers is all it takes. And papers should be easy enough with the current dearth in talent… The reffs should get agents and put the for sale sign out. Let the various Football Associations have a real stake in the level of talent in the reff pool — and pay for it.

    If English reffs continue decline in fairness and to hold grudges against teams, players and coaches…and don’t yet comprehend the ever changing off sides rule, let them look for work in German or Italy. Language isn’t an issue in England either as most words spoken to the reffs are F-bombs and C-bombs anyway.

    Referee Reform Now

  15. bjohnson

    March 5, 2011 at 4:13 pm


    • Keith

      March 7, 2011 at 8:18 am

      Grow up. Being an official is hard. AND QUIT TYPING IN ALL CAPS!

  16. Jose

    March 5, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    How about having something similar to the nfl whereby the coaches each get a red flag to call for an instant replay,if needed, once per half.

  17. Simon Burke

    March 5, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    Another year…?? God help us.
    I am at my wits end with refs. Today was appalling. Did you see the foul throw as well? Not pivotal but laughable.

    Rooney elbow,
    Luiz red
    FA nothingness
    Todays ref/lino comedy act.

    I give up. Too often the decisions or lack thereof are taking focus off the games. Is it whining football fans or is there a problem that refuses to go away.

  18. Michael Brewhouse cafe

    March 5, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    For the worlds best and most viewed game in the world, once again we are to be targeted by OLD men at Fifa who refuse to come into the 21st Century, like our politicians there should be a retirement policy if you cannot collect a bridge toll past 65 how in hell can you run the greatest game in the world. Old men should look after their grandchildrens soccer (football) games not the worlds

    • SeminoleGunner

      March 5, 2011 at 3:08 pm

      At least the FIFA authorities have finally agreed to take up the extremely controversial issue of neck snoods.

      • The Gaffer

        March 5, 2011 at 3:13 pm

        Tell me about it. FIFA’s priorities are completely out of whack.

        Meanwhile, FIFA has said it’s going to continue testing the goal-line technology for another year. Why delay the decision by another year when supposedly the technology is already in place and sound? Who wants to bet that FIFA in a year from now will not be ready to implement the change for whatever excuse they come up with?

        The Gaffer

      • gooner fan

        March 6, 2011 at 5:11 am

        Now how does wearing neck snoods affect the outcome of a game. Another case of FIFA getting their priorities all wrong. Instead of discussing the failure of referees and assistant referees and goal line technology, they will ban vuvuzelas and neck snoods. Great going blatter.

  19. Peter

    March 5, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    Those are both 50/50 calls and Arsenal got neither of them. It happens.

    • R2Dad

      March 5, 2011 at 3:42 pm

      An obvious push in the box is not a 50-50 call. AR was derelict in his duties, or the center ignored the AR flag for a foul. Either way, an official needs to sharpen up in the Championship for a while.

    • Phenoum

      March 5, 2011 at 4:08 pm

      Diving at Arshavins heels with both arms extended while pushing off.

      If that’s 50/50 then you’ve got a problem with that lump atop yer neck

      • gooner fan

        March 6, 2011 at 5:14 am

        Peter, you really weak in the cranium or what. Anybody who watched the game saw Titus Bramble pulling Arshavin. Anyway, another referee who supports Man U.

  20. maw4bc

    March 5, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    where is the article about MANU being hard done 3 years on the bounce against chelsea.


    • premierleaguered

      March 6, 2011 at 1:33 am

      Buddy…they only write articles against United here…n condemn the very few decisions that go in favor of them…they turn a blind eye when United get some Unfair decisions…they write an Article about Nani’s goal…but won’t write an article when United were deprived of maximum points at St. Andrews etc…….they talk about Rooney’s Elbow on McCarthy here…but not about Gerrard’s similar act nor Malouda’s or Mascherano’s..this blog is biased….

  21. Baldboy

    March 5, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    Ref was from Manchester. Nuff said.

  22. Tom

    March 5, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    With 9 established first team players injured, Sunderland’s tactic of deep defence and counter-attack is totally understandable, and almost produced a win. Bleating about a couple of marginal decisions is, I would have thought, beneath a team pressing for the title, and is especially pathetic in the light of the many decisions going for and against all teams on any typical Saturday.

    • R2Dad

      March 5, 2011 at 3:39 pm

      The PK shout was totally justifiable given there were no obstructions, etc. to prevent the two officials from getting the correct call. The PK non-foul is different from the Offside issue. I’m looking at that first video and it appears the striker’s shoulder may have been offside, and the timing of the event makes it difficult to get that split-second call correct, either way. However, the AR is supposed to give the benefit of the doubt to the offense in 50-50 calls like this. Two bad calls in one game may demand that AR do some more Championship matches for a while.

  23. SeminoleGunner

    March 5, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    I think Arsenal should definitely feel hard done.

    True, like any team Arsenal could have taken other chances and made the officiating debate academic, but I see that as a separate issue. Referees should not get off the hook because their mistakes could have been rendered irrelevant by other events. They should be held accountable for their mistakes just like players and managers are.

    When I compare what was called a penalty by Phil Dowd in the Newcastle match to what was not called a penalty today by Anthony Taylor, I’m really at a complete loss. The performance of referees has to get better.

  24. King Eric

    March 5, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    They don’t implement technology because they won’t be able to fix matches the same way. On the second one, Bramble didn’t get a full touch on him with enough weight to throw him off the ball before he shot it, Arshavin didn’t even complain but merely showed frustration at himself for missing it.

    • P A U L

      March 5, 2011 at 2:12 pm

      King Eric you have a “generous” view of this play. Falling forward, Bramble puts both his hands into Arshavin’s ass right as he’s making contact with the ball. You can’t tell me you know how to read Arshavin’s reactions when NO ONE can read the enigmatic Stuart Little.

      • King Eric

        March 5, 2011 at 2:30 pm

        maybe i do, but honestly he should of done better and he knows it. bramble barely gets his finger tips to him and doesn’t have enough weight on him to push him forward that much. plus, in that kind of situation, he knows he should have had the strength to hit it properly as he’s typically strong on the ball. would have been an even softer penalty than what was called against smalling on ferreira. he simply lost his balance and carried forward after the fact. credit to the keeper in this match.

        • R2Dad

          March 5, 2011 at 3:32 pm

          Where is the AR call on this? Did the center ref and AR both determine this was not a foul, or did the center (mistakenly) wave down the AR flag? Clear cut PK that the AR should have called for, even if the center didn’t see it.

        • Murph

          March 5, 2011 at 4:31 pm

          you are delusional Eric. Have you ever even played? Running at full tilt, trying to focus on a moving ball and balance yourself to take a shot on a guarded goal – while being pulled back then pushed forward. “barely gets his finger tips to him” – You are truly Delusional mate!!!

          • Sir TY

            March 6, 2011 at 1:07 am

            Murph, Not only is he delusional but most likely a Sunderland fan. It’s obvious he hasn’t played the game to make that assessment and for the record, you can see that the first thing Andrey did was look at the linesman for a flag and when he didnt see one he couldn’t believe it. The refs decisions was appauling, neither Ferdinand, or Sessegnon or Bardsley got booked for challenges far less threatening than Nasri or Koscielny and marching off 10 yards when we take free kicks and asking us to stay put but nothing when Sunderland takes theirs, a shambles pure and simple. On a footnote – the red is from Manchester so you do the math.

  25. Wow

    March 5, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    I guess the refs felt Fergie had a point from Tuesday so they had to make things even. We’re already missing 3 of our top players why handicap us even more?

  26. King Eric

    March 5, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    So should United v Chelsea three years in a row, consider it even.

    • premierleaguered

      March 6, 2011 at 1:46 am

      They won’t…

  27. P A U L

    March 5, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    Win some calls, lose some calls. Keep video replay out of the game (other than goal line decisions). Replay slooooooows down American Football so much I can barely stand to watch anymore! I’m an Arsenal supporter and ultimately the squad has to be responsible for the chances they created but did not convert. The most frustrating aspect is that when they actually did put chances on goal the keeper made some outstanding saves!

    • bill

      March 5, 2011 at 2:01 pm

      completely agree. So a few calls could have gone our way, but Sunderlands keeper had an outstanding game, and we failed to convert a few chances. Gotta hope Anfield can deliver tomorrow

    • Phenoum

      March 5, 2011 at 4:12 pm

      Replay maybe not, but that call on Nasri for shielding the ball? WTF was that?

      And im surprised that the Gaffer failed to mention the kick that could’ve broken Kosc’s leg from Stephane Sessegnon which didnt even deserve a yellow? Lucky he didnt turn his ankle worse than he did – had he been standing on that foot we might be hearing all about how Sesse’s “not that sort of player”

      F* me

      • The Gaffer

        March 5, 2011 at 4:20 pm

        Phenoum, the kick by Stephane Sessegnon was disgusting. Could have easily broken Laurent Koscielny’s leg. I didn’t mention it only because the article focused on the two crucial mistakes by the officiating team. But yes, that was a horror tackle.

        The Gaffer

        • Phenoum

          March 5, 2011 at 4:29 pm

          Fair enough – and for the record the “pleasantries” at the end of my comment were for the ref’s – not you 🙂

    • Jay

      March 7, 2011 at 11:04 pm

      And, you’re both completely wrong. American football is slow by design. Hell, it has a 40 second break between 5 second plays.

      I’m not saying replay is right for football, but you two are completely wrong about why.

      See Rugby Union. Seems replays could be instituted completely at the control of the ref, for crucial decisions. Typically at the time the ref would be consulting with the TMO, the players are currently yelling at the ref anyway, don’t think this would slow the game down that much.

    • murph

      March 8, 2011 at 4:45 am

      typical arsenal fans “we are hard done by ” boo hoo hoo pesonally i thought sunderland matched your game. you dont score you dont win

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