Reviewing Arsenal’s Debatable Decisions and Sagna Hits Out at his “Assaulter”
The penultimate set of Premier League fixtures played a vital role in shaping the destinies of the various teams with different expectations. Like the final day battle of 2008, the fate of the Premier League crown will go down to the wire as the bullies from Manchester will face off against different opposition knowing that victory is paramount in their encounters.
At the bottom, Bolton relinquished a two-goal advantage against Woy Hodgson’s West Brom and Queens Park Ranger’s victory over Stoke kept them afloat relegation waters. Blackburn takes on Wigan in a crunch encounter tonight and the stakes don’t get any higher than that.
Arsenal lost their stranglehold on third place for four weeks in a row but the complacency and inconsistency of the teams below them ensured that they remained in pole position for third place. Arsene Wenger commended on his team’s character but he was bewildered that no penalty was awarded at the Emirates all season long.
He considered it as an “amazing” feat to know that his team couldn’t fetch a penalty from anywhere when other teams had reached double figures in the spot kick count. Manchester United’s Legend of the Fall, Ashley Young, has hit the deck a lot of times this season. For what its worth, Shrek would have been eons away from Robin van Persie if he hadn’t converted the million and one spot kicks Manchester United have had.
I came across a statistical website called Debatable Decisions which is also described as the home to the real Premier League table. On the site, the background picture is Didier Drogba doing what he’s renowned for and it also has some guiding rules.
Goals incorrectly ruled out are be given and goals incorrectly given will be ruled out while penalties that aren’t given are given as goals. Basically, the Real Premier League Table is calculated using the decisions that directly affect goals such as goals ruled out for offside, corners incorrectly given that lead to goals, whether or not the ball has crossed the line, penalties.
As at week 36, Manchester United and Manchester City were tied at 83 points with Arsenal (66), Tottenham (65) and Newcastle (65) gunning for third spot while the likes of Chelsea (61), Everton (52) and Liverpool (49) were far off in Europa League territory.
The real Premier League table as at Week 36, showed that Manchester United were actually supposed to leading the log with 89 points while Manchester City trailed further behind at 84. Arsenal and Tottenham were tied at 70 while Chelsea (67), Liverpool (60) and Newcastle (55) followed suit.
More interestingly, Arsenal was bottom of the decisions table, with six Decisions For and 17 Decisions Against thereby giving the team a Decisions Difference of -11. It was quite awkward to know that Manchester United was in 12th place in the decisions table with 12 Decisions For and 14 Decisions Against.
Stoke topped the Decisions table with 26 Decisions For and nine Decisions Against and they were followed closely by Bolton and QPR.
This season, so many decisions have gone against Arsenal and the club is right to be at the bottom of that table with 17 Decisions Against.
The most recent was the blatant push on van Persie by Kyle Naughton in Saturday’s game. Poor decisions like Luis Suarez and Yakubu Aiyegbeni’s offside goals, Gareth the Chimp’s dive and many more has been the difference between three points, one point or none.
Moving over to player news, Bacary Sagna has accused Norwich’s Bradley Johnson of deliberately breaking his leg in that enthralling draw:
“I think Johnson did it on purpose. He stepped on my leg. I got back on my feet, and when I tried to control the ball, I felt a crack, just like the first time at Tottenham. He stepped right where the plate was. I think the plate pressured the bone. It’s a neat break, just above the plate.”
Sagna expressed his disappointment on his injury for two main reasons. He said that his parents came to the Emirates to watch him in action only to see their son’s leg broken by a beast wearing a yellow and green jersey. He also expressed his frustration on missing out on what would have been his second major tournament for France, Euro 2012.
He said that he came back strong in his return from his first leg break and he intends to come back stronger this time. I wish him a speedy recovery because his quality and consistency is unrivaled in Arsenal and world football at large.
Van Persie has also been on the spotlight again, as he’s a goal short of breaking a new record at Arsenal. The Flying Dutchman hit the 30-goal haul set by Thierry Henry in 2004 and he’s odds to go one further in Arsenal’s version of the Champions League final in the Hawthorns.
Van Persie has modestly declared that he never expected to win any awards and he has lauded his manager for signing Lukas Podolski. Speculation has been rife in regard to his future and the Metro has published an article revealing that Manchester City is prepared to hand him a £250,000 per week deal to lure him to the Etihad.
The ball is certainly in van Persie’s court and I, Arsene Wenger, his teammates and the Arsenal faithful are hoping for one thing.
For our captain to put the “xoxo” sign in the __________ of that new contract paper.
He also posed with the boys for photos of the new 2012/13 home kit.
Many Gooners (me included) have been skeptical about the design but further details in the shirt include the outer back neck graphic which references the WM formation that Chapman pioneered so successfully, along with the inner back graphic which reads “Victoria, Concordia, Crescit” – the Club’s long-held motto since 1948 which translates as Victory through Harmony.
I hope the new kit comes hand in hand with an end to Arsenal’s trophy drought, with van Persie lifting every cup.