Joey Barton should be banned for life

If you’re a baseball player and you bet on a baseball game in which you are involved, your career is over. You will be banned from baseball for life. The rule is straightforward and reads:

Any player, umpire, or club or league official or employee, who shall bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game in connection with which the bettor has a duty to perform shall be declared permanently ineligible.

Pete Rose, an icon of 70’s baseball, 17-time All Star, MVP of the 1975 World Series, all-time record holder for games played, at bats, hits and singles. Pete Rose is a three-time World Series winner and given his career he would currently be sitting in the hall of fame. Except one problem, he bet on baseball.

Gambling culture in the USA is different than in the UK that is for sure. Betting on sporting events is difficult or illegal in most states of the union and in the UK, gaming windows are available at half-time inside the stadiums. And in 2005, the UK relaxed their gambling restrictions, giving both foreign and UK firms the ability to advertise on TV. Despite a 2014 law requiring all firms who sponsor a football team to pay 15% tax, gambling firms are a major revenue stream for clubs and for the Football Association through sponsorships: 10 of the 20 teams in the Premier League wear shirts which are sponsored by gambling firms.

Gambling on football in the UK is ubiquitous. Bookies are everywhere and it’s easy to place a bet on a game, I’ve done so for almost every match I’ve attended. I even bet on a Champions League match inside the Emirates Stadium. Every time Joey Barton pulled on his kit, the front of his shirt read out the name of a Filipino gambling company and the Football Association itself, the very folks who ruled to ban Joey Barton for betting, is sponsored by one of the largest bookmakers in England.

Through his web site, Joey Barton has admitted that he bet on football. He not only bet on football, he bet on matches in which he played. And he even bet on himself in those matches. He bet against his own teams as well, but only when he wasn’t playing, so he says. And Barton claims, of course, that there is no evidence of him fixing matches.

Pete Rose is banned from baseball for life because he bet on games in which he was a manager or a player. The reason baseball has this rule is because in 1927 eight White Sox players were accused of taking money from gambling firms and throwing the World Series. Baseball didn’t want the public to think that their sport could be bought by mobsters and acted quickly, creating what is now known as Rule 21, which bans you for life if you’re found to have bet on games in which you are involved. It’s a nice, neat rule, that everyone knows, and that has prevented even the hint of corruption from creeping into baseball.

Baseball created this harsh rule because fans need to trust that the games that they watch are not corrupt. That the players are not throwing games and that the outcomes of such games are determined more by skill and brains than by betting.  And the fans need to know that the association which rules over these players and these games is also not corrupt.

Unfortunately, football has its own long history of corruption. Antonio Conte, the current manager of Chelsea Football Club, the team who is likely to win the Premier League this season, was only recently acquitted of failing to report match-fixing. This corruption was going on with his team, Sienna, in 2011-12. The betting scandal in Italian football that season was widespread and a number of players received five year bans from the game. Corruption in football is not some 100 year old scandal. People have been convicted of match-fixing in the last five years. Football has a corruption problem.

The English Premier League is the most respected football league in the world. Few would suggest that the league is corrupt or that there is match fixing going on in the Premier League. The very reason the Premier League is so well respected is that it has largely escaped the scandals of places like Italy.

But in order to preserve that level of respect the Football Association and the Premier League need to show that they have no mercy for cheats and the scumbags who would exploit them. They need to make a Rule 21. Any player caught betting on a football match in which they have an influence on the outcome needs to be banned for life.

Until they make such a rule, it’s only a matter of time before a player like Barton, who was a Premier League player placing bets on his own team, lets his gambling addiction or vindictiveness or whatever excuse he wants to make up, get the best of him and throws a match in exchange for some good odds.

Qq

 

37 comments

  1. It’s sad and hilarious at the same time. Sad that there is actually a possibility that Joey Barton, who is better known for his antics than his football, might return to the sport. Hilarious because only a gigantic moron like him would place over a thousand bets in a sport where he is a professional. Subtlety was never his forte.

    On another note, Wenger said that were watching Dele Alli closely. I wonder how many other players we are watching closely and will do absolutely nothing about.

    1. We could sign Mbappe, Griezmann, Alli, a hotshot keeper, and whatever else and it wouldn’t make a difference. As far as personnel goes, you could make an excellent case that we’ve improved the quality of the team on paper over the last five years, and yet it has made little difference to where we finish or when we collapse every season, with the exception of this season, which has seen us plummet more spectacularly than usual.

      The problem doesn’t seem to lie with the players but rather with how they’re motivated, how they’re organized, and how they’re switched on. This might be the first summer since following Arsenal that I don’t really mind or care about who we sign. Either Wenger is drawn to skillful but weak-willed players or that’s what he turns them into.

      1. How much better is this team from 5 years ago? Cesc left us in 2011 and started the exodus of “Wenger’s kids”. We were in bad shape then but you would think that 5 years would have been enough to put together a team capable of challenging for the title. How does the team now compare with the team of 2007-2008 though? I would say we have a better squad but I don’t know if we have a better first XI. The biggest factor for me is that we still don’t have a genuine world class center forward since we RVP sh*t on us.

        I know Wenger has his shortcomings and his inability to organize his team might be the biggest of them but no matter how good of a manager we get, we need to make sure we have the players on the pitch who are capable of making things happen. We have a lot of one dimensional players in both midfield and attack, and our midfield doesn’t have any dynamism whatsoever. This is not a squad that can win the league. Sure, they should be doing better than what they are doing but do you genuinely think someone like Pep or Mourinho, who are universally regarded has great tacticians, can win the league with our squad? Their performance have been well below average given the money they have spent. It mostly comes down to the players. I don’t want to downplay the importance of having a good tactical manager these days but I think, in our haste to get rid of Wenger, we tend to forget that having a core group of players that will drive the team is even more important than that.

        In any case, there is no point in hoping that we will get a new manager next season. The best we can hope for is that Wenger buys intelligently in the transfer market.

        1. Honestly, I think this squad is good enough to win the league. I think we have the players. I compare them one-to-one to the squads of Chelsea and Spurs and I say we have deeper squads than they do, and one of them is going to win the league.

          1. I guess that’s where we differ. I don’t think this squad can win the league without 1) a world class center forward, 2) an upgrade in the engine department. We probably have a deeper squad than the Spurs but their first XI is genuine quality – and while Kane and Alli grab all the attention, I think Eriksen and Dembele are under rated. They also have a better goal keeper and better wing backs – maybe Bellerin has the potential to become better but his lack of experience shows.

            For me, it comes down to having players who can make a difference on their own, players with an x-factor – we only have Sanchez. Spurs have 3- Kane, Alli & Eriksen; maybe even 4 now with Son who is turning out to be a wonderful, technically gifted player who is thriving under a good manager.

        2. …same with Leicester last season. We have better players than they do. We’re deeper. But we’re mid-season chokers. I go back to our mentality and set-up, and for me those are the responsibility of the manager.

          1. Actually Leicester is a good example. They had the same players and same manager this season and look what happened. The difference? Kante. Having Kante in that mid-field made all the difference last year.

          2. I don’t know what happened. What were the rumors, again? That for some reason this season Ranieri lost the dressing room? Kante is important, but I don’t think the team tanked as bad as they did because of his loss alone. Could you make the case that what made them so great last season was because they followed Ranieri’s plan? Man, the way those players celebrated w/ Ranieri last year, it seemed to me they thought it was a miracle largely of his engineering.

      2. It’s not about managers, it’s about players. So, I completely disagree. Brendan Rodgers is a moron with David Brent level motivation and nearly won the League. Tinkerman was widely considered a horrible manager and did win the League with his stupid “dilly dally dong” shit. Mourinho is a fucking clown. He’s Sam Allardyce in a Portuguese suit. Players don’t mind his stupid system in the first year or so but rebel very quickly against his “organization.” Pellegrini is a joke. Even Wenger, what was the Invincible’s coaching revolution? He told them to stop eating Mars bars? Even Pochettino, flavor of the year, his brand of football would be nothing without Harry Kane. Fortunately for him Kane is an idiot and is going to stay with Tottenham, I’m not sure Dele Alli will and we will see if they can maintain superiority over Arsenal for more than a year after Alli leaves. I kind of doubt it. Pochettino is actually the perfect example of what I’m talking about. At Southampton he was seen as a great organizer and motivator. He got them to what, 8th? Same organization and motivation, but add Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Hugo Lloris, and C. Eriksen and suddenly they are challenging for the title.

        Wenger last year. He had the exact same players as this year and given the shots Arsenal were creating, they should have won the league. Arsenal created more big chances than anyone, they limited the opposition’s big chances better than this year and they saved more big chances. Wenger’s organization and motivation of the team was just fine. What they were missing was a top forward forward. Or even, really, any voracious goal-scorer. This year the problem is different: no voracious scorer and Özil has handed over creative role to Alexis. Worse, Wenger has once again not bought the players he needs, and now the players seem to have given up on him.

        If Mourinho took over Arsenal the first thing he would do isn’t just make the team have a better formation, which he would, but he would clear out a bunch of these players and would demand that the club buy a proper fucking striker, center back, and defensive midfielder. Maybe even a keeper. Pep Guardiola, same, though I think Pep is learning that a ball playing defender isn’t nearly as important in England as it is everywhere else in the world. Another crucial thing that Wenger seems incapable of buying is a replacement for Sol Campbell – John Terry isn’t known for his ability to pick out a great pass, Kompany, Sol Campbell, Gary Cahill, Rio Ferdy, Huth, Morgan, etc. They are, however, all big, strong, fearless center backs who can handle the rough and tumble of the premier league. They aren’t awful with the ball, but that’s not the main reason why we buy them.

        Another way to think about all this is set plays. A lot of teams aren’t afraid to give up a corner to Arsenal because they know that they have big lads in there who are going to win the ball. They also know that since Arsenal are so tiny, and lack a real striker, they tend to have to send 8 men forward for their set plays meaning that the opposition will have a good chance to counter if they win the ball back. This problem with the corners for Arsenal is the same problem that permeates all of the Arsenal attack; since we don’t have a real striker, Wenger has to make up for it with numbers, so Ramsey HAS to go forward because who else is going to score goals? Wenger isn’t “disorganized” he’s making a calculated game plan based on the personnel he hires in the summer. He KNOWS that game plan has a vulnerability at the back. The Squillaci interview reminded me that he knows, the players know, everyone fucking knows!

        You put Thierry Henry into this team and they win the league. Because it makes everything easier. The real reason Wenger has to go isn’t because he’s incompetent organizing the team but because he’s somehow unable to recruit (or build) the forward we need to challenge for the League.

        1. Yeah, I’m mainly in the ‘player camp’ if you will. I agree Arsene’s short-comings as a manager could have been somewhat covered up if he had bought well in the transfer market. I find it really strange that he didn’t take a gamble on Dele Alli if he was watching him so closely. Not that it would solve all our problems in defense but there’s another area where he should have done better. He threw down 30mil for Mustafi after Per got injured – yikes! For someone so careful with club’s money, that seemed like a risky move to me at that time but I was happy to see him spend money nonetheless. As it turned out, it’s almost as if he is better at picking up bargains at 5-10 mil than he is at picking up established players at 30 mil.

          The team needs a spinal transplant. Your Campbell point with the set piece explanation is an excellent one. It really helps to have a powerful center back in the EPL and perhaps compliment him with a ball playing one. That formula seems to work pretty well for the most part. We have been without one for a while. I mentioned earlier that we also need an upgrade in the engine room as well a bona fide center forward. I would also probably agree with Mourinho (yukh!) that we need a keeper. That’s the spine of the team right there.

        2. The reason I don’t buy this argument is that the claim about players is also, or at least is potentially, a claim about the manager, who buys them (or fails to), picks them to play, tells them where to play (“you fullbacks, CHARGE! you two centre-backs, EXPOSE YOURSELVES!”), prepares them on and off the pitch, etc.

          Look, I’ll be totally Frank here. I, Frank, don’t really care all that much that Wenger’s staying another two years, three years, whatever. It’s fine. But I do think he’s a big reason why we’ve failed to achieve a title or more trophies in over a decade. I think we’ll be following a middling club in a few years. Who knows, it might be fun! Certainly I’ll be interested to see how well we do in the Europa League next season. I wonder if Wenger will play the kids!

          1. I agree that the blame lies with Wenger. I just disagree that this team would be title challengers with a different manager. None of the top managers would leave this team as it is, all would spend big on a striker and probably a midfielder. The question then is why Wenger hasn’t. It’s a question that no one will ever solve to the complete satisfaction of anyone.

          2. I absolutely blame the manager but you can’t convince me that these group of players can win the title without some serious reinforcements.

        3. 1. Ok, I’m going to go with the most obvious cliche imaginable here, because it applies to this debate if it applies anywhere: surely “is it the players or the manager” is a false dichotomy, no?

          2. Pochettino’s team improved when he went from Southampton to Spurs, because Spurs have better players, sure. But Spurs also greatly improved when they went from AVB and Sherwood to Poch. Most of Spurs’s players were on their books (if not in the team) before Poch arrived: Lloris, Walker, Rose, Vertongen, Dembele, Eriksen, Lamela, Kane. Dembele’s a great example: demonstrated he was a gem of a player at Fulham, but the fact that Spurs were able to sign him suggests that the big boys weren’t really convinced he was top drawer. Arrives at Spurs and struggles for quite a while, career going nowhere. Then Poch comes on the scene, moves him deeper, and builds the team around him (not unlike Wenger did with Cazorla before injury), and he’s now one of the most important players in the league. Another example: did ANYONE other than Spurs supporters rate Rose and Walker as top class fullbacks, deserving of being first choice for their country, before Poch got hold of them?

          3. “You put Thierry Henry into this team and they win the league.” Yeah, but you put Henry into any of the top 6 (and maybe even Everton!) and they win the league. He’s the greatest forward in PL history. (Even if you think someone like Suarez is a better player, he wasn’t better in England. Suarez had one peak-Henry-level season at Liverpool. Henry had like six.) But the thing is, there aren’t many like him around. No team in the league currently has more than 1-2 players approaching that level. Kane is a great player but nowhere near Henry. But a Dembele? A Kante? In the absence of Henry-level players, those are the guys whose performances can go a long way to keeping your team in the title race. And a manager like Poch can be the difference between a player like Dembele reaching his potential versus wasting his career on the bench. Does Eriksen really have more ability than Ozil? Is Alli really more talented than Ox? (Ok, so the first question is clearly rhetorical, the second more controversial: personally, I think, in terms of pure talent, the Ox is at least as good as Alli.) I think if you put someone like Poch or Guardiola or Conte or Klopp in charge of our squad, they’d want new signings, sure, but there’s also a decent chance that players like Ramsey, Ox, etc, might just actually play to their full potential for more than a couple of games a year.

          4. So, yeah, it’s both. I’m not going to say this squad could definitely win the league, but if, e.g., Pochettino were in charge, I’m pretty sure that several players that Arsenal fans regularly slate as being not good enough would suddenly look like something close to world beaters, and I’m also pretty sure we’d be a good deal closer to the top of the league than we are now.

          1. I think Alli is the more talented footballer of the two though Ox is more of a natural athlete. In terms of passing, dribbling, vision, shooting – Alli has been better.

            I don’t disagree with your general point that we would do better with the same squad if Pochettino (or a better tactical manager) where in charge but I don’t think you can the league without a proper striker or center forward. If we had Kane and Spurs had Giroud, I bet the table would look very different.

          2. Yeah, it’s crazy frustrating that center forward is STILL the biggest gap in our squad. I know he’s had quite a few injuries, but was Lucas ever considered good enough by Wenger? Why did he sign him?

          3. So why Wenger hasn’t bought the world class striker, Tim asked.
            The answer to this question is rather simple in its complexity.

            We know Kroenke doesn’t care about winning trophies as much as making money on his investment.
            We also know the board has never set performance goals for Wenger to achieve except to say finish as high as posible.
            We also know they support him unequivocally wether he has a plan or not.
            We also know top class strikers usually cost more in a inflationary market than what Wenger’s valuation of them is and you don’t have to go any further that the case of Gonzalo Higuain to see that .
            A player who at 25 went to Napoli for £34m in 2013 , a sum Wenger thought was too much to pay. The same player went to Juve for more than double that three years later.
            Wenger is not only bad at squad building but also not very astute at football economics, at least at the higher end of it, it would seem.

            So it’s a combination of factors why Wenger doesn’t address the obvious needs , and you can add to this his loyalty to players to complete the picture, something the Kante fiasco was the best example of.
            Apparently we had been watching him since his youth days and Wenger loved everything about him, but was surprised he had made the move to PL as early as he had, which btw, at 24 is exactly when you would expect a midfielder to blossom and take his game to the next level.

            So we don’t buy at the very top of the market because of valuation but we also fail at the lower end – my guess, for loyalty reasons.
            Arsenal players careers are very important to Arsene and not “killing” them seems to be another contributing factor to being inactive it the transfer market.

          4. My answer to your question, Tim, is that first, Wenger really does love the club and second, that he refuses to get it involved in a purely monetary war with the other big-money clubs in the PL. I think he sees it as a matter of principle, that if all success comes down to is how much cash you are willing to throw at players and their agents, then you might as well not play the game at all. And while some moan about our frustrating under-achievement, I think it is the price we pay for his trying to win without compromising this point. It’s no coincidence that his success has tailed off since Chelski started buying their titles and led the way for the other mega-rich owners to get involved. I’m just amazed he has managed to keep us competitive at all in the last 15 years.

            One other thought on the rich owners: I lived in Colorado for thirty years and my impression of Kroenke is that he is a lot more interested in making money from his sports teams than seeing them lift trophies; top-four finish is absolutely fine for him. Usmanov would probably throw a LOT more money into the transfer pool, but then we’d really be no different from Chelski. And given Wenger’s principles, it probably wouldn’t change his approach anyway.

            Think I’ll go watch the snooker…

        4. Cahill is a half-paced, one footed defender. When Alaxis pounced on his errant backpass to score in the league game at the Emirates, it was because Cahill chose the riskier option of playing it with his right foot. He repeated the same mistake against Manchester United (the coach probably told the attacking player to force his to play the ball with his left).

          So technially he’s limited, but the attribute he shares with the underrated (by you) John Terry, Kompany and the wonderful-in-his-prime Nemanja Vidic is that he’s unafraid to put his head where it hurts and throw himself into blocks. The funny thing about Vidic (who was also top-drawer technical) was that he played like the Englishman, and Rio Ferdinand like the continental.

          An oft asked question is how well Wenger would have done without George Graham’s defensive setup.

          Let us however give Wenger some credit where due. Two words. Rob Holding. A player raised with the English values, who at Arsenal will get a good global education. And he cost £2m. It was immediately clear, watching him partner Calum Chambers in central defence in the early game (another season that caught Wenger unprepared) that he was the better player. Hat tip to Wenger on that one.

          1. Not going to argue the larger point but I’m still going to dispute the aside about being caught out at the start of the season due to poor management bit.

            We had Koscielny, Per, Gabriel and Chambers. We bought Rob Holding. We were negotiating with Mustafi and Valencia from at least during the Euros (Mustafi said he was asking Ozil and other German players about Arsenal during the Euros)

            We knew we wouldn’t have Kos available for the first game. We liked Mustafi and wanted him even though he may not have been available for the first game either.

            Per went down injured about 3 weeks before. What did we have? 3rd and 4th choice defenders. Gabriel and Chambers to start. For one game. Due to injury and post tournament rest. Is that so terrible? Gab went down injured a week or so before the season started. At that point what do you do? Sign an emergency CB for one game?

            And we weren’t just looking to buy Mustafi. We were also taking to Lyon for Lacazette, juggling our remaining budget between the two. So it’s not like we could just pay whatever. In the end it was Mustafi for 35m (A large but reasonable sum, comparing with CBs of similar age and profile by other English clubs) and hence no Lacazette for 40+m, but Lucas for less than 20m (Considering that our budget was about 90m, as leaked via John Cross apparently)

            What would you have done differently?

          2. shard, the only argument i have is the poor management of the mustafi transfer. arsenal could have signed him for £28 million and ended up paying £35 million for him. that’s an additional 25% that arsenal overpaid because arsenal and wenger didn’t seem to respect the nature of valencia’s predicament. everyone knew that arsenal were going to buy the kid but were trying to play tough in a situation where they needed to handle with a bit more care. the longer it took, valencia just kept raising the price from 28 to 30 to 32 to 35 million. it reminded me of how leeds played man united with the rio ferdinand transfer.

            the more significant issue is that arsenal lost their captain in pre-season and their co-captain less than ten games into the season. for the majority, it was plain to see that this was going to be a huge problem that required some serious managerial intervention. there is no one in the squad that could do, tactically, what per and santi could do. since it couldn’t be handled tactically, it needed to be handled strategically by the manager. that strategic intervention never happened. as a result, arsenal go from challenging for the title to not even being close.

            if arsenal had better players, they might have won a few more games but with no direction and leadership on the pitch, they still wouldn’t have won the title. you’ve got to be a united team, not just in spirit but in your play, to beat the chelseas, and fc bayerns.

  2. Didn’t the Black Sox scandal happen in 1919?

    I’m one of those who would suggest that it is highly unlikely, from a pure systems perspective, that the PL isn’t beset with corruption. It would amaze me because all their systems are geared towards protecting those in authority, while providing no transparency or accountability for their actions. Betting and match fixing in that regard might be the lesser problem though, because institutional corruption is generally bigger, and yet harder to recognise as such. You can’t tell me all those ‘fit and proper’ persons were buying up clubs because they loved the game.

    Claus Lundekvam. I think it must have been a good 5 years ago that the former Southampton captain said on TV that he, and a lot of other players used to bet on matches they played in. He said he never influenced the outcome of the game, but they bet on who conceded the first throw in, corner, and amazingly, even penalties and cards. No follow up by either the media or the authorities beyond a perfunctory never happened or something of the sort.

    The PL has avoided a whiff of scandal simply by doing that. Avoiding it.

  3. Thought experiment: if Jose Mourinho was found to be in the same situation, would you advocate banning him for life?

    How about Alexis Sanchez? Arsene Wenger?

    1. Yes
      No
      No

      Reason: Mourinho is a repeat offender. Not necessarily a gambler but he is a despicable cun8.

    2. Any manager found betting on his team should be banned for life yes. And of course the same goes for Alexis.

  4. That Joey Barton is a tremendous wanker of epic proportions doesn’t really need to be said. The question for me is he the ONLY tremendous wanker of an insider (player/manager/owner/staff/etc) who bets on his/her own teams?

    I would **wager** not. And I agree that unless the PL is bloodyminded about such behavior there will likely be more such stories in the future.

    Anecdotal to be sure but credible sources of mine from the country have all (three) said to me that there is trouble brewing with the Chinese Super League.

    One of these sources said a relative used a private chat group on WeChat, where most of the betters were friends. Winnings were distributed via bank transfer, Alibaba-linked Alipay, WeChat or ‘red packets’, digital versions of traditional envelopes stuffed with cash.

    It is quite routine for Chinese police to see a surge in illegal gambling online prior to the CL semis and final. In a single bust last summer, police in southern Guangdong province arrested 147 people and froze funds worth nearly 100 million yuan ($15 million).

    Big tech giants like AliBaba and TenCent have cracked down on betting apps and it seems a scandal that would make Serie A pale in comparison is just a matter of time.

    1. Of course this is completely different from insider betting but a problem nonetheless.

  5. I just like it whenever Barton experiences a bit of misery, however small or great.

    Detestable individual.

  6. An early 1960’s UK betting scandal which involved match fixing by over thirty players resulted in jail sentences for most and life bans for a few. First division players were involved in throwing matches they played in.
    Cricket has also had it’s more than fair share of betting/match fixing episodes right up to test level.

  7. match betting is despicable. it has the potential to minimize one of the true meritocracies in our society, sport. with joey barton making so many bets, he clearly has a problem. does he deserve to be banned for life? perhaps as a deterrent to others but is a lifetime ban a just punitive action for someone with an addiction? being that i’ve never had an addiction, i can’t honestly say what that’s like. it certainly sounds awful. people a lot smarter than me need to make that call.

    as for the discussion about who is more responsible for arsenal’s demise, it has to lie at wenger’s feet. he’s the one who manages arsenal’s resources. he signed all of the players. even the smallest details of what they do, what they eat, where they sleep, etc. has to be approved by him. to have that kind of power is a dream for any manager. with that much power has to come much responsibility. therefore, arsene wenger is the one most answerable for the team’s actions or failed actions.

  8. Wenger can be soon annoying with his constant ” oh we were scouting him” and “I tried to get him here”, etc. Everyone OT seems from Messi to The Zlatan and now MBappe. Puh-Leese, M. Wenger. Enough.

  9. Our promotion years ago from the second division, when we weren’t even in the play off places, was partly the results of match fixing between Liverpool and Man United. I know it’s not betting related but to this day it really annoys Spurs fans so…..

    I agree with Shard. Whether it’s through betting or not the Premier League seems to show hardly any interest in making sure the game is corruption free and I’d be amazed if games and results weren’t being influenced both behind the scenes and on the pitch.

    As for betting, didn’t that physio get fired for eating a pie in our fa cup game just a few months ago after bets were made that it would happen? Sure it didn’t affect the result but it shows that people still bet on games they’re involved in.

  10. As for the Joey Barton ban. The need for a similar Rule 21 seems pretty obvious and has no downside I can think of but I’d be surprised if the Premier League introduced one because i’ve just no faith in the people in charge.

  11. The thing that this Spurs side has over us that others didn’t is authority. They look like the boss. Like a side that knows it’s better, and is ahead of us on merit. Kind of how we used to look against them in the past.

    Arsene has built a squad, not a team.

    Two-nil down. Let’s see what you’ve got, guys.

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