Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Ranieri moans fall on deaf ears as Arteta hails important win

“There is only one thing I’d like to know, when there is a man on the ground, everybody expected the ball goes back and it didn’t go. There is a respect in that situation. Then we get the ball with Sarr and go on the counter-attack and there is a big foul. It’s unbelievable.”

Those were the words of Claudio Ranieri as he bemoaned Arsenal’s decision not to return the ball to his Watford players after professional chubster Danny Rose had kicked it out of play so Ozan Tufan could receive treatment.

It mattered to the Italian because the Gunners, thanks to Emile Smith Rowe, scored from the resulting action; a goal that ultimately sealed a 1-0 win for Mikel Arteta’s men.

Should we sympathise? Well, if Watford actually had an injury, rather than a lad lying on the turf trying to get the referee’s attention in a bid to kill our momentum, then maybe. As it was, by the time the ball was hoofed off the pitch by Rose, the Turk was already on his feet and fine. So, no. Screw them.

As for the perceived foul on the edge of the box. Sure, there was an accidental coming together between Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Ismaila Sarr but in a match that had its fair share of fouls, this was not one of them. Moreover, it’s hardly Arsenal’s fault that the visitors then gave the ball away to Ben White and subsequently deflected Smith Rowe’s strike past Ben Foster. That’s on them.

Asked about the incident in his post-game press conference, Mikel Arteta wasn’t in the mood to blame his players or to stoke up a slanging match with his opposite number.

“I have to defend my players, my team and my club,” he said.

“I would say we are the most honest [of] all of them – and at some stages we can even become naive. But still, if he feels like that towards our club, I have to apologise if that’s the case. But for sure there was not any intention to take advantage.”

On a day when Arsenal had two goals ruled out by VAR for offside and missed a penalty, Watford can hardly have argued with the result. For Arteta, another win and clean sheet sees his side push up to fifth in the Premier League. Morale is high in the camp after the disappointing start to the season.

“It’s much better and it’s always great for any manager or team to win before the international break because we’re now going to lose 70 per cent of the squad,” he said.

“They are going to go to the national teams and hopefully when they are back we can maintain that and keep the run going.

“It was really important today to be clear that we were going to have moments of frustration. We expected a certain game-plan from them. That is going to happen and you have to go through that.

“You have to be consistent and you have to be determined with what you want to achieve in the game. And the type of actions that are necessary to win the game and to keep going. We never lost sight of that and I believe that’s why we won the game.”

The boss was also full of praise for the attitude of his players who’ve confounded their critics to string together a 10-game unbeaten run and win over dubious supporters.

Reflecting on the way things have come together since September, Arteta added: “It was about what I could see around me – the faith that the players and the staff have in what we do, the belief, the sense of belonging they have to be a part of a team, and the unity they’ve shown in difficult moments, not to try to point to anybody [else] but to take full responsibility and show real leadership and courage to overturn the situation.

“They faced the criticism and moved forward, slowly trying to engage people. We’ve been lucky because we have supporters who, in difficult moments, have shown that they love this club and they realise how important it is for our players to play the game with them. When that happens, you can see what the atmosphere is like.”

When the players return from international duty, Arsenal’s next task will be crushing Liverpool at Anfield. A win would see us climb above Jurgen Klopp’s side, who in losing to West Ham this evening, have surrendered their unbeaten start to the season.

Happy Invincibles Day, Gooners.

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Happy Invincibles Day indeed.


Agreed 🙂


This is the best takeaway after the 3 points.


Bwhaaaa haaaa haaaa, their bloke was up before the ball even went out, just more Watford cheating to go with the constant fouls.

Johnny 4 Hats

I’m really sick of this performative sportsmanship. If it’s a really serious injury, the referee has the power to stop the game. And it’s so obvious when it is. Everyone stops anyway.

I’m sorry but it doesn’t matter if you get a knock on the leg if you get treated immediately or in 30 seconds time. The amount of break aways that are extinguished because a player has a mild injury.

Fuck that. Let the ref control the game. Play on. Always play on.

Brady’s bunch

Play to the whistle how many times have we been told that before

David C

As an ice hockey player, all I can say is if you’re not bleeding to death then game on. So lame watching players kick the ball out only to watch the injured player rise like Lazurus 3 secs later…


Exactly, and if teams stopped kicking the ball out of bounds then players wouldn’t stay down unless they were really hurt

Gnarly Head

Amen!! You are spot on my friend.


100% problem is we do it too hopefully it doesnt backfire and other teams stop giving us the performative sportsmanship lmao


And if Danny fukstain Rose had of recieved any two his 3-4 yellow card incidents they would have been down to 10 by half time. Fuck off Watford.

Kartik Iyer

Yeah about that…wtf ref! Danny rose should have had a yellow card minimum for the penalty tackle. And like 10 mins after there was another dangerous tackle. Premier League refereeing is becoming so inconsistent.


There were minimum of 3 and probably 4 rose fouls that were bang on lock yellow cards. And he didn’t get booked once. The penalty incident was close to a red. And really if you want to protect players then it’s absolutely a red, that was a forearm to the face and he made no play at the ball.


They were more interested in sleeping on the pitch at every little opportunity than actually playing

Teryima Adi

Yeah, Happy Invincibles Day- we still hold the record.😃


Interesting use of the term ‘dubious supporters’! Some of them were reasonably doubtful. Some of them remain dubious!
Trust the Process!

Brady’s bunch

He can have nothing to be moaning about. The way he sent his team out to play like thugs kinda backfired on him. Glad we beat them today 😊

Wrighty’s hats

I thought it was a little on the petulant side for him to come up to MA after the whistle blew and talk MA’s ear off instead of just shaking his hand! Thought Ranieri was better than that!


Liked how Arteta didn’t react badly to Ranieri’s rant and didn’t let it overblown. Class act


It was probably so it got talked about on Match of the Day

The Beast

I agreed with how MOTD analysed it really.

Samabi’s initial tackle wasn’t a foul, it’s a bit rich to expect the opposition to return the ball when your man blatantly isn’t injured & Danny Rose’s screaming at him to cheat & stay down & the defending wasn’t good enough.

Also agreed that AMN probably did commit a foul but that’s down to the ref & VAR. Also, I’d want AMN to do exactly the same in that situation (if he isn’t on a yellow) all the time to stop the counter.

The Beast

Sambi even

Cranky Colin

In recent times we have been screwed over on many occasions………..
It’s Payback Time.


I liked the way we kept on playing and ignored the cheat on the ground, and I liked the way Steve Round shepherded Mikel away from moany whiney old Ranieri. Mikel very cleverly apologised without actually apologising, which is quite funny. Arsenal are getting more savvy, it’s good to see. Pool are beatable, I’m enjoying this process.


Fuck that guy, Watford we’re time wasting from about ten minutes into the game – you reap what you sow.


I can see in this Arsenal side the the fighting spirit of GG’s early teams and it’s fantastic.


I finally got to watch. 1-0 flatters Watford. Let’s be honest, only auba kept them in the game 🤣.
Konga-niles dad a blinder and dominated. Gabriel was a BEAST! The whole back 5 were splendid (one dicey moment). ESR and Saka. What can you say.. Legends in the making. Great shift by laca too. Creds to Arteta, he’s found a balance love our high Tempo game.

Charlie Pharlie

Watford’s game plan was simple: foul and disrupt our play as much as possible, by whatever means necessary – including regular feigning of injury! Oh, and flattening our lads with the odd forearm smash or two (et al Danny Rose). How that foul on Laca wasn’t a red card is beyond me. If that had been Xhaka…

The Beast

Clear red. But even as a yellow he should’ve been sent off for about 2 other yellow card offences.

Thought Kucka could’ve gone earlier as well.


I like this new arsenal. Keeper and defenders with personality, players dropping the excessive ‘niceness’ and doing some bullying of our own. Aubamayang’s lack of ball control, pass and strength in duels is beginning to annoy me tho

The Arsenal

Actually liked Ranieri, then he sent out and set up his team like today only for it to backfire completely then he has the audacity to complain as if that was the sole reason they lost. Fuck u. Hope they get relegated.

Timorous Me

Probably knows now he’s going to get fired this week. Ah, the life of a Watford manager!

A Different George

There was some stat about their having like 17 managers in the past 8 years. I probably have that wrong but, amazingly, it’s not way off. Arsenal, of course, have had 3 in the past 24 years. Ok, Wenger does distort the average a bit.

The Beast

I still like him. Personally I’m not gonna blame him for trying every trick in the book to get a desperately needed result & avoid the sack for another week at least.

In a week’s time it’ll all be forgotten & both sides will have bigger fish to fry

Once, twice, three times el neny

Dilly dong, you’re side is getting relegated

Trond Nilsen

Hi. Dont get why the Saka goal in the start was VARed. Is there not a yellow player inside with both Auba and then Saka shooting? Dont watch to much nowadays. Is there a new rule or something? To me its not offcide, why was it disallowed?


The playbook states that there have to be two players between our player and the goal for him to be onside

Crash Fistfight

I remember having this conversation with someone a few years ago and there were quite a few other people there at the time that didn’t correct the other person, so I presume they didn’t know. These were people who must have been watching the game for 15-20 years.

The Beast

Tbh I had no clue this was in the rulebook & definitely thought it was a legit goal. I thought you just needed at least 1 outfield player between you & the goal for it to be onside.

Learn something new everyday.


as a former assistant referee i always wanted to get one of those just so i could call it and be smug.

It’s a bit like how watching cartoons as a kid makes you very prepared for quicksand. A situation you’ll probably never run into but know exactly what to do in.

A Different George

The law has been the same since it became two opponents closer to the goal instead of three (which was around 100 years ago). The law has always referred to “opponent,” which includes the goalkeeper and every other player.


Exactly what A Different George said. There needs to be two opponents (with no distinction of whether they’re a goalkeeper our outfielder) closer to the goal. Normally it’s the goalkeeper plus one outfielder but in this situation, Foster is beyond Saka, so we needed two yellow shirts between Saka and the goal.

Manu petits left peg

Turns out Arsenal might not be a soft touch any more… That’s pretty pleasing.


No one is going to fuck with Gabby!! Weapon!


A co-worker friend of mine supports Sp*rs. The other day he referenced our ‘soft underbelly,’ which I thought a bit rich coming from him. But I took him through our lineup and asked him to give an opinion
Ramsdale: Not soft
Tomiyasu: Not even close
White: Don’t know enough yet
Gabriel: NFW
KT/Tavares: No
Partey: No
Lokonga: Said he was ‘slender’ but I don’t think he’s soft
Saka, ESR, Laca: No
Auba: No

So he agreed that he was thinking of the old Arsenal. Then I asked him if he wanted me to go through Sp*rs lineup. He declined.


S***s. Could be spurs or could be softs, synonymous really.


Cracking 😀


Ha ha, good one Daveo

Obama Young

Spurs scored a goal on us this season when we had a man down injured. No one said a word about it. That’s how it was dished out to us, so that’s how we’re going to play it. Anyone who actually cared about this fake “issue” would have spoken out then, but no one did, so they can all cram it.


Do u not see any difference? They kicked the ball out willingly when they couldve cleared or passed, Rose wasnt under a lot of pressure. It would be like we have the ball Partey gets injured we kick it out and they dont give the ball back. Trust me if a team did that we would be mad.


i think as a fanbase we’d be more mad at whoever didn’t clear it out for being naive. If you punt it into their corner and they don’t give it back, then that’s dickish but at least you aren’t exposed. Also i remember a moment in that game (forgot if it was before or after the goal), i think it was ESR who kicked it out when he thought a watford player was injured, but then realized the guy was faking it and looked annoyed. When you’re playing like jerks all game it’s naive to think you’ll get any leeway.… Read more »


Arsagin – if I were a Norwich fan, I’d be annoyed by Tufan half-arsing his pretend injury, and by Danny Rose for mis-reading the situation and giving possession away cheaply by kicking it in to touch. In fact, I’d be annoyed with Danny Rose for all sorts of reasons.


Watford, not Norwich (I got confused by the yellow shirts – schoolboy error)


Really hilarious to see Sarr motionless during the build-up to the goal. Ranieri needs to have a word with that guy about his unprofessional conduct rather than having a moan.
Loving it that we are pissing off teams again. Soft-touch no longer.


What would he say? I expect you to Play act better?


Never understood the willingness of some teams to tolerate injury acting by the opposition. Guys laid out like they are dead suddenly come alive when play stops.
loved the attitude by the gunners. Stay on your feet and play.

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