Monday, June 17, 2024

Odegaard: We need to take the good things with us

So incensed was Martin Odegaard by the refereeing inconsistency during yesterday’s 2-1 defeat to Manchester City that Arsenal’s coaching staff had to stop him from confronting fourth official Kevin Friend following his substitution.

Replaced by Rob Holding on 63 minutes – four minutes after Gabriel’s second half red card – the Norway international couldn’t hide his disappointment as emotions boiled over on the pitch, the touchline and in the terraces.

By full time, our summer signing had calmed enough to face the beIN SPORTS cameras and did his best to emphasise the positives on a day when the Gunners push the league leaders to the limit before succumbing to late heartbreak.

“The feeling is of course not good,” said Odegaard. “I think we made a great match. We managed to play our game and put them under pressure, created lots of good situations and scored the first goal.

“I felt that we controlled the match quite well. Then come three situations that go against us. It is of course tough to take. But we made a good effort and did everything we could.

He added: “If you look at the development we’ve had since our first match against them this season, it is great.

“We are very close to being at their level and it showed in many situations today. With eleven players, we controlled the match and led.

“Even with ten players, we defended well and they did not create much before the last chance and goal. We need to take the good things with us and move on.”

Having had his own claim for a penalty dismissed in the first half – an incident that VAR didn’t instruct referee Stuart Atwell to review on the pitchside monitor – Odegaard, like the rest of us, was incensed that Bernardo Silva was awarded a spot-kick following an intervention from Stockley Park.

“It is a very cheap punishment,” said Odegaard. “It is clear from the replay that he falls and then Granit grabs his shirt. But then he is already on his way down. The ref stood right next to him and said that there was no punishment and that he had seen it clearly. It always looks worse on TV. But for me it is very soft. It’s frustrating.”

The Sun reports that Kevin Friend arrived at the Emirates as the designated fourth official but started the game as one of the linesmen after Constantine Hatzidakis dropped out just before kick off.

No fourth official was available for the first 30 minutes of the game before replacement Neil Davies arrived at the Emirates. He then took over running the line from Friend who reverted to his original role as fourth official.

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Greek in London Gooner

”Kevin Friend arrived at the Emirates as the designated fourth official but started the game as one of the linesmen after Constantine Hatzidakis dropped out just before kick off.

No fourth official was available for the first 30 minutes of the game before replacement Neil Davies arrived at the Emirates. He then took over running the line from Friend who reverted to his original role as fourth official.”

you can’t make this shit up

The rem

Sounds dodgey as fuck


How can they have started the game like that???


30 minute delay is nothing really.

Constantine Hatzidakis sounds made up. Sounds like a Bond villain.


The Irony here is Mi6 (PMGOL) is the Villian…


And you sound like a racist cunt


Totally unsuspicious. Happens all the time…

Jeremy DG

Thank you Arseblog for calling this for what it was in the blog this morning (albeit in a calculated way :)). I woke up this morning still feeling deflated, proud, furious, defiant. Very similar to how I felt after the CL final in 2006 and that game against Barcelona where RVP got sent off.


That still gives me flashbacks…


Man City are a good side, millions of investment and a top coach… they will most probably win the league. They don’t need any gimmes from officials to get them to the title. The 3 points should rightfully be ours yesterday and City would still be ok. We were denied the win, plain and simple.
What I do like though is our togetherness and spirit – something really positive is developing with this team. Finding a top level striker to blend into that mix will the key to take us to the next level


complaining (rightfully) about how incompetent pl refs are is as useful as hitting our head against a brick wall
we should take all the positives from this game and feel more confident about facing the likes of pool and chelsea in the future

Man Manny

I have followed this league from the year Kanu signed for Arsenal (I am a Nigerian), and I can tell you complaining about refereeing decisions is not a waste of time – especially from managers and players.
Alex Ferguson did it all the time.; Arsene too. These things get to them.
I wished Arsenal could be more vocal about yesterday’s incompetence than they were, but I can bet you we’ll see referees be a tad more cautious in our coming games.


I agree that complaining amongst ourselves is useless. Complaining in the media might help. It certainly did for Fergie. Here’s the thing, yesterday, if I told you after watch that game that we committed 13 fouls and Man City only 5 would you believe me? What if I then told you one of those 5 fouls was for a shirt removal and another was for kicking away our free kick ball? So really 3 fouls were called on Man City. That’s insane they fouled the whole game. They foul incessantly in an attempt to retrieve lost balls. Its part of… Read more »

Apangu Iddi Amin

We should be ready to face more of this until when one of our own is there in the FA board thats when they will start to consider our cries. Other waise we shall always face more and more from refs until GOD enter veins.

Teryima Adi



The difference between us yesterday and when we played them earlier in the season is night and day. Focus on the progress. Nothing we can do about dodgy decisions sadly.


9 times out of 10 martinelli buries the chance and gabriel gets a yellow and arsenal win it.


Having looked at the replays numerous times, I think both penalties should have been given. Having not given ours in the 1st half, it’s frustrating that VAR told the ref to have another look in the 2nd half. Xhaka made a reckless foul that ultimately derailed our match, and Gabriel’s 2nd yellow was also costly and smelled of inexperience. Or maybe he was just following Xhaka’s leadership.

Bleeding gums murphy

I’ll very happily admit that Arteta is proving me wrong and I’m delighted. This team has so much potential it’s frightening. I can forgive Gabriel, he’s young and will hopefully learn. He has been incredible leading the back four by example. We have to move on from Xhaka though. We need a replacement. I have a lot of faith in Lokonga though We still need a top draw central midfielder and a a centre forward. Lacazette is doing great in there but a top striker with saka martinelli odegarrd smith Rowe partey and that back four and we have a… Read more »

Adny Toams

What’s wrong with you lot downvoting the comment? THIS is the Gooner Spirit !

Brady’s bunch

Free Holiday to Dubai for some var official possibly 🤔😊

Cranky Colin

I’m not one for serious posts too often, so hear me out. That was a brilliant performance yesterday, and shows clearly our progress………bossing a team that will surely win the league. However, as a huge fan of Andrew and the Arsebloging generally, I thought he made a great post this morning, I wish to disagree in one area. Don’t make it a ref problem, when you have no actual definitive evidence to support your views. Unlike other sick issues we as a team have witnessed (the lash of a kick into Sakas leg from behind for eg ( Mc Arthur… Read more »


Yeah, learn from it and take the positives. All good stuff for our youngsters.

Arsenal and Barcelona have the best young players in the world atm so reasons to be cheerful 👌

Bleeding gums murphy

Well said Colin. Only disagreement was saying chess brilliant. Partey was brilliant in the middle, Xhaka was good though cost us dearly when we were in total control.

Bleeding gums murphy

Xhaka brilliant not chess though believe it or not I have just been playing chess ♟ before I looked at blog again. Spooky auto correct

Cranky Colin

Appreciate the reply BGM, and you’re right, Xhaka maybe wasn’t outstanding, and he divides opinion anyway,. But he was good until the Xhaka moment with Silva in de box.
Pity, but it was one hell of an overall performance by Arsenal. I sero think we will stuff Spuds , the d#ckheads.

A Different George

Ask auto correct for lottery numbers.


3 of us watched the game without commentary and during the second half we were looking at each other saying “it looks like the refs been knobbled” some of the stuff he did and didn’t give was scandalous. It reminded me of the ref in Escape to Victory. I don’t mind adding that we were drinking and are usually quite partisan but still, that ref was a fucking joke.


Having settled down a bit and watched that performance again I can’t feel anything other than optimistic about our future ! Could have been, might have been penalties and quite frankly a dreadful refereeing performance can’t fog that for me ! Gabriel let his passion & emotions spill over but I’d rather see that & have him learn from it than just accept mediocrity ! Our youngsters have to be the envy of all football clubs & not just as players but as ambassadors & fine young men Proud if them all ! Xhaka has got pelters for ” The… Read more »

Spanish Gooner

I was even more frustrated after the Sp*rsgame later on – Watford denied a fairly obvious penalty which VAR decided not to ask the ref to review, then Sp*rs nicked it late on. That’s a 5-point swing in the top 4 race that has been completely artificially engineered by PMGOL


I think reputations, either club or manager, must have any effect on a VAR official. Some geek should do a run down of decisions since its inception.

For us, I want us to feel pissed off and use that as positive fuel to keep at this level and go even higher…..a siege mentality can be a good thing. We’ve got big games coming up and I think we will now believe we can win against anyone, which is as it should be


It’s almost like a perfect system for engineering results. It’s improved fuck all because the remains no consistency in its application. How the fuck can they watch the Odegaard pen and not see contact is with the leg first and then the ball (if even the ball – it was more like ederson’s foul drove odegard’s leg through the ball). I’m OK with the xhaka pen if given because it was clumsy abs stupid (c’est la xhaka), but it was not given and its the inconsistency of VAR that is the complete bullshit bordering on crooked corruption.

Kentish Gooner

Serious question blogs: do you think match-fixing takes place in the PL? There have been a number of incidents this season that reek of foul play on the officials’ part (mostly surrounding the ‘big clubs’) and VAR’s purpose seems to be to ‘control’ big decisions in key matches. Personally, I think both teams should have had penalties – if officiating and VAR had been consistent – but yet again the richer club comes out on top. What’s your view? Would love to see this discussed on one of the upcoming podcasts – sure a lot of Gooners would be interested… Read more »


It’s such a easy sport to rig. Look at how easy it was to change 3 points in this game via total inconsistency and in those other examples you mentioned (ie the weekend the top 4 all win by pens…chelsea with 2x in one game) And sports betting is a billion dollar business and TV contracts are 100s off billions. Match fixing has occurred in basically every league around the world. It’s almost naive to think the EPL is free of it.

A Different George

It is precisely because TV contracts are worth so much that fixing a top-level match (in any rich country) is so unlikely. Sky, NBC, and others are paying the Premier billions of pounds, and it cannot tolerate even the slightest risk to that value because of a match-fixing scandal. Logically, by the way, the league’s preferred officiating preferences would be to favour the weaker teams–the more clubs have a chance at the title, the greater the interest. That is the great lesson of American sports and sports broadcasting, with many teams having a chance to make the various playoffs, and… Read more »


A match fixing scandal literally cannot emerge because systems in place cover up everything including the media that controls those TV contracts. The system perfectly protects itself. The US systems are totally corrupted by shady referees and massive TV revenue and favouratism to big markets in NY, LA and Florida. US sports are just as bent. Look up Tim Donaghy, referee in the NBA. The NBA itself leaked the story of his match fixing while it was still under police investigation so they could scapegoat him and cover up the fact that the investigation was on-going on many other referees… Read more »

A Different George

I am not interested in debating American sports with you on this site, but even a cursory look would show you are mistaken about the dominance of big market teams. Teams from by far the largest media market, New York, in the NBA, the NHL, the NFL, and baseball (mostly) have been woeful for years. Detroit is a much bigger television market than Kansas City or Green Bay–but the NFL Lions are a joke and the city’s teams in other sports not much better. Florida as a whole may be large–but it is a fractured media market with three NFL… Read more »


I’m convinced there are bent referees in the Premier League and I can’t understand why the whole set up is allowed to be so secretive. As Spanish Gooner has pointed out, two match results were manipulated yesterday by incidents which should’ve been corrected by VAR and weren’t. There’s too much at stake for these things to go unchallenged.

Jeremy DG

Yes it’s impossible not to think this. When fifa (the very top of the game) is exposed as a corrupt cartel (which we already knew), why wouldn’t this filter down to other organisations? As someone rightly pointed out, why would it happen in other leagues and not ours? You could argue because of the popularity of the product it would be harder to cover up but it’s not. Why do you think the premier league was so hesitant to implement in game technology? Because they couldn’t control what happened on the pitch. Until PMGOL was set up up with zero… Read more »


Top post. Well said.

There is so much dirty money sloshing around in the game now that I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it transpires that yesterday’s game was a fix.

Adny Toams

Well said!


The more money in a system, the higher the corruption in it, pretty much universally. Every other league and every sport has seen match fixing and other forms of corruption, yet we are to believe that the Premier league – with the most money sloshing around in it – is immune to this? To think that isn’t just naive, it’s plunging our heads deep in the sand whilst our pockets are picked clean. The money in the PL comes from fans, as we generate the advertising pounds and TV views, and all the while the integrity of our sport is… Read more »


Capitalism is a system that is literally built around the expectation that success can be derived from bending the system as far as you can while getting away with it. We’ve come so far in that system that now even the judicial processes are completely twisted to cover up manipulations and exploitations. Football is just the acted out analogy of the system that governs it.

A Different George

Exactly right–but wrong conclusion. The reflection of capitalism in football–the way capitalist structures are manifested in football–is Man City’s ability to keep Sterling, Mahrez, and Gundogan on the bench, while Palace or Wolves do not have a single player as good. It is Man United buying Varane, Sancho, and–oh, yes–Ronaldo all at once. It is a PSG front three of Mbappe, Neymar, and Messi. It is Chelsea having literally dozens of players, not just kids, out on loan until they are needed. Prem referees, inevitably, are unconsciously influenced and sometimes intimidated by power and prestige; they are insulated from accountability… Read more »

Santi’s Thigh Grab

But if the corruption isn’t imaginary then spending all that time demanding better referees didn’t accomplish anything. Along w the other posters, I find it incredibly naive to think there cannot be corruption in the PL based upon what I’m seeing w my eyes. No human being can be that incompetent at the job they have trained for.

Alan Baverstock

It wasn’t the PL, but when Van Persie was sent off against Barcelona… Common sense tells you.


And isn’t it funny how barca who are now broke are struggling in all competitions?

Man Manny

The collective frustration by Arsenal – fans, players and manager – over the way the match panned out yesterday is a good sign for me. For once in a long while, the team did not roll over for City. That usual air of resignation when we play them was replaced by an air of defiance. It showed in the way we made them look like a demystified bully until the referees came to their rescue. The most reassuring thing for me is that this does not look like a one off. I fully expect this same spirit when we play… Read more »


They look shell-shocked. As if they were not expecting us to compete. They have an odious bunch of players, too (Rodri, Bernando Silva, Cancelo etc)


Looked* and *not compete, ffs


Am on the opinion that one of the dailies/ news agencies should do an undercover investigative journalism on premier league referees, and the Revelations will be shocking, a top level C.M and as striker will take arsenal to the next level, upwards to the gunners


Fully agree with this. They should be digging much more into substance abuse as well because football is soooo (relatively) clean as a sport when the pay is many many times higher than other sports. Lots of heart issues lately? Coincidence? Maybe but worth a look.

As for the refs, the decision making lately (Ederson’s foul in the recent Newcastle game being one of the worst examples) is SO biased that I wonder why there isn’t more demanded from proper journalists.


Journos = Murdoch. TV contracts = Murdoch. FA = Murdoch. PMGOL is Murdoch’s tool to massage results into $$$.

A Different George

I don’t think Murdoch controls football on television any more. The American cable company Comcast owns both Sky Sports and NBC. To be clear, I loathe Murdoch, he just doesn’t own it any more. And the viciously anti-union Comcast is also not a favourite.

Jeremy DG

It will happen one day (like it did with fifa), and I am convinced it’s happened before only for people to be silenced with threats. When an organisation or institution becomes too powerful you are essentially throwing yourself on the fire by exposing them, and very few people are willing to do this.

Jeremy DG

The only hope is one day the PL pisses off an institution bigger than them (like fifa did with the FBI). But even if this happens I would expect a few weeks of media outrage, followed by a handful of dispensable guys taking the fall, some empty promises about reform before reverting to the norm (see fifa now).


Ian Wright on MOTD yesterday suggesting ref got all decisions right. Disgraceful!! Sigh…. How many times!! still haven’t got over his Lacazette piss take last season!.


Gabby Agbonlahor called it was it was on Talksport. He said Xhaka’s was a pen, but absolutely Ederson het Odegaard before the ball and there was no consistency between the decisions. He also said all game the decisions favoured one team. Said Gabriel’s yellow was soft, Saka’s yellow was a farce and the complaints were justified because that foul was a yellow if Gabriel’s was and Ake was fouling and tugging on Saka all game long.

A Different George

Does anyone know why Saka was booked? I assume dissent, but I never saw any incident where he was saying anything to Atwell.

Gary Wilkinson

Seems very corrupt.
I dislike us saying VAR though when we should name the people running it.


Unjust reward for our efforts yesterday. Very fine margins between the top teams and the teams right below them. We played admirably for long spells in the 4-1 loss to Liverpool and in the 3-2 loss to United, and we played well for the entire match yesterday against City. The difference in all three matches was critical mistakes we made that turned the games against us. I don’t believe Tavares’ error against Liverpool was down to talent, I think it was downs to youth and experience in big Premier League matches. I don’t think Odegaard’s error against United was down… Read more »


I don’t agree that there is some mass anti-Arsenal conspiracy. Man City is going to win the league with or without those three points. I think one could legitimately argue that it would be good for the PL to have one of its historic top clubs rise from its brief foray into obscurity to reclaim its place among the leagues top clubs. I think incompetence is a far more likely cause. We were essentially 0-3 in 50/50 decisions yesterday. Like many, I think the minimum you can ask for is consistency in refereeing decisions. I would add accountability, but I’m… Read more »

Jeremy DG

It’s not about an ‘anti arsenal’ narrative. This affects many clubs, not just us. It’s about betting patterns and who’s unscrupulous enough to win at any cost.

A Different George

Well said. But I think some accountability is possible. If Atwell’s incompetence and inconsistency is highlighted enough, it is possible that he will be demoted to the Championship for a week or two. I know that’s not a lot, but if it begins to happen regularly, maybe referees will learn. On the other hand, ridiculous accusations of corruption will only make them more defensive.


Swinging widely from pessimist to optimist. Currently the former. Watch the replays. We chucked it away, just like the Man Utd game, by doing stupid/rash things. Odegaard’s was 50/50. Xkaka….just don’t. HE HAS GOT TO GO. Even if it wasnt a pen, he’s got too much currency from previous knuckleheadery and is now a full blown liability. With the other results, feels like another ‘sea-change’ moment lost in typical Arsenal fashion (until we play Spurs at least). On the plus, generally loving the Arsenal vibes right now 🙂


Crap… Gabriel will miss the next match against sp*rs

Martin R

No he will not. He will serve his suspension in the first leg of the League Cup semi against Liverpool.


Everybody says that Gabriel was naive, foolish, etc etc, to get sent off. But Mane took out a Chelsea player with an elbow in the first minute (he definitely knew what he was doing) and doesn’t get sent off. If Gabriel was naive, foolish, etc etc, so was Mane. But only one suffered repercussions.

Apangu Iddi Amin

Xhaka really need to do some thing special to his game when he is playing in a high tempo games otherwise he will keep messing us up and we shall keep loosing points like last year.If not then we should sell him and buy some one who can do some thing special to up our game.


Things always look different in slow motion. The VAR replay should also show side by side with full speed or allow the ref to replay with controls himself. Not shown what var has ‘edited’

VAR referees are looking for little nitpicky things discovered in a millisecond. It has no context and unfairly influences referees, who can’t argue with it.

In this case the referee was still a c$nt

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