Good morning. I’m sorry it’s taken me a few days to get this post up but frankly I needed some time to calm down from the events on Sunday. Frankly, it’s not worked. I’m not even remotely calm.
I want to address the referee controversy first. I’ve listened to the two biggest football podcasts which cover the Premier League and only one person (Barry Glendenning) even mentioned the penalty call that was rescinded by Anthony Taylor but all of the commentators made sure to point out that Garnacho was “millimeters” offside with the breathless pearl clutching that indicates that some huge injustice was done to him and Man U. And to my astonishment, Erik Ten Hag has had the temerity to come out and complain about the officiating, absolutely obscene in the context of the match.
I guess that there were other complaints but the two biggest ones were the penalty call and the offside call. The offside call is correct. Garnacho was offside and it even looked offside in real time. Ten Hag complained that the camera angle was wrong or something? It’s an asinine complaint since offside is determined by multiple camera angles. And it doesn’t matter if you’re a millimeter offside or a foot offside (as Garnacho was) it’s offside. He went too early. Gabriel smartly played Garnacho offside. That’s it.
To complain about that and then to not even mention the obvious error that Taylor made to rescind the penalty is, well, it’s incredibly Mancunian. Taylor last officiated the Arsenal loss to Nottingham Forest in May. You might remember that match for him not only refusing to give Jesus a penalty for a clear drag back, but for actually giving Jesus a yellow card for complaining. And then on Sunday he first awarded a penalty for two players tripping Kai Havertz but then went to the TV and watched two players trip Kai Havertz and decided that there was no foul. Both of Kai Havertz’s legs were taken from him. Not by Wan Bissaka’s foot but by him and Casemiro’s shins. It’s absolutely clear. It’s an indisputable penalty. The only way that you wouldn’t call that a penalty is if you thought Kai Havertz threw himself to the ground and kicked both of the defenders in the process. But that isn’t what happened. He was literally closed down on both sides and was tripped.
After that call, I had a hard time even focusing on the match. I was just livid. I guess we didn’t play very well during that period and Man U had the lion’s share of the possession. But that could have been by design from Arteta. Despite having the ball, Man U failed to create even a single chance from the 77th minute on.
The game came back to life for me when Declan Rice scored his first ever Arsenal goal. What a time to do it! The 96th minute of a huge game between Arsenal and Man U. Everyone celebrated. And Jesus added the cherry on top with his counter break goal, juking two players to put the ball in the net.
That’s all I have the energy for, sorry. As the days get shorter it takes me more time to adjust. Waking up in the dark for two hours is a bit frustrating but things will get better(ish) when we put the clocks back to their real time (the one where noon is the peak of sunlight, instead of 1pm).