This Gooner will not be watching CL football anymore

Referee Anastasios Sidiropoulos from Greece, thank you. Thank you for spoiling a very decent game. Did you see how our boys fought for their honour and pride in the first half? Did you see how they tried to overturn an impossible deficit? Did you not realise that giving a penalty against us for a debatable foul on Lewandowski would evoke some strong emotions? But what you surely will have realised is that by giving our rock in defence Koscielny a red card, you killed the game there and then. Now you were the hero.

Who at EUFA decided to put an inexperienced hot-head of a Southern-European referee in charge of such a big game between Western-European top teams? The red card was totally uncalled for and spoiled a good game for good instantly. I have had it with CL football. It is obvious that for the next five to ten years either Bayern, Barca or Real will win the competition, so what is the fun in watching it? If on top of this we have jokers of referees on the pitch in the supposedly biggest club competition on earth, it is time to no longer watch any of it. I am done with it.

Well done the boys for fighting so hard and you were close to a second goal which would have given you wings to go for more. It was not to be, and the capitulation after king Koz was sent to the showers was painful and embarrassing, but I cannot fault you for giving it a real go before it went all very wrong.

By TotalArsenal


17 thoughts on “This Gooner will not be watching CL football anymore

  • I know that feeling, TA, but you will be back watching CL football, soon enough.

    That decision by the ref was frustrating and knocked the stuffing out of most “dreamer fans”, who still hoped we could win the game, at the least. To have them get the chances to repeat that score line will not be good for the history books, when viewed in 10-20 years from now. How a referee, who is reportedly under investigation in his home country, can be given such a big game is beyond me.

    Again, the fact we have been paired against Bayern and Barca 7 times in the last 16 draws, over the past 8 seasons should be cause for worry. Yes, it is about “luck”, but when you consider this coincidence amidst reports of frozen balls in the bag, you must wonder if it was just the result of someone’s mischief that we have continued to have such bad luck. Is someone trying to bring the club or manager to ridicule?

    Very hard to wake up to face today, as an Arsenal fan, but we must move on and look forward.

  • Eris, I had the same feeling. I was so ashamed (locally we say Malu), and Henry will know it, to the point that I did not want to do anything and wait for news reports of uefa investigating the referee or any similar news regarding the club.

    The thing is we always played well, but without Kos you feel like they are all over the place. In army, you are trained to position yourselves to hide or move according to the section commander, and if your second commander dies the next best person takes command.

    Obviously the next best person is Alexis, and Xhaka, as he was the former captain of his previous club.

    I will continue my post later.

  • In the second paragraph, I wrote “…If your second commander dies…”. It should be “…if your section commander dies…”

  • I don’t understand the logic of the officials. It was basically body to body contact. Kos “crime” was that the Bayern man was marginally ahead of him. 50/50 for a penalty but not being a professional foul there is no way it should have been a red card. Most referees hate to give a red card after giving a penalty with as much as 40 minutes of play left. Remember that the referee in our CL final against Barca regretted the sending off of Lehmann. He said he should have allowed the goal and given a yellow card instead.

  • T A well. Written my thoughts exactly. I didn’t expect us to win, but I was enjoying s decent game of football. Then that half witted clown totally spoiled the game. People had spent a lot of hard earned cash to see the game and it was just dull after that inclusive of goals.

    Despite the sending off, we shouldn’t have been hammered like that, I hope we learn from it.

    The one thing I found a little disappointing (did I just say one thing?) was Bellerin’s distribution which I thought was pretty poor.

  • Retsub1, it seems like those mistakes we made were not learnt from and the same mistakes were made again and again this season.

  • Excerpts from Wenger’s interview. Source:

    On the defeat…
    I felt that we produced a performance with the spirit and the pride that we wanted. After that the story finishes badly. Personally, I would say that we really put Bayern under pressure and that we were really unlucky tonight because it was 100 per cent a penalty in the first half after the foul on Walcott. I checked it on television. In the second half, the referee killed the game. After that, it was very difficult but the referee was very, very powerful for Bayern tonight. At that moment in the game, not only was it not a penalty, but Lewandowski was offside. On top of that, he gave us a red card and that killed us completely. Overall I must say that Bayern are a good side, but tonight they can also say thank you to the decisions of the referee in the second half.

    on how he feels…
    It leaves me very angry, very frustrated and, because we are in a difficult period, it hurts even more. It’s absolutely unexplainable and scandalous. You look at what really happened, and the guy behind the line gives the penalty and the red card when the referee had given a yellow. Okay we have to take it on the chin and I have to stand up for it, and I will take a lot of criticism, but it doesn’t change my mind. We have to deal with these kinds of situations in this game but that doesn’t make them right.

    on whether the players have let him down…
    No, I feel the referee has let us down.

    on the lack of leadership shown after Koscielny’s dismissal…
    It’s difficult when you have to go forward and score goals. You have a deficit of four goals and you’re down to 10 men. If you go forward you can be caught on the counter-attack but if you don’t go forward then people will say, ‘Why did you not at least try to score goals?’ so it’s a difficult situation. It’s an impossible situation.

  • Good post Total, written in difficult circumstances…

    There will be around 9,000 Lincoln fans at the Emirates this weekend, as its their cup final.
    No doubt they’ll smell blood and the media will ramp it up in anticipation of a Walsall or a York or a Wrexham style upset.

    I’d like to see quite a few changes because many who played last night could well have Bayern on their mind if they play this Saturday.

  • Throw them all on vs Lincoln, I say. Nothing better to get that defeat out of their heads.

  • I agree with 90 percent of the post. The part I don’t agree with is the one about a Southern European hot-head. We had a Serbian referee in the first leg. The Greek is simply a poor and weak ref. Secondly, Western Europeans are not anything special to Southern Europeans.

  • T A going back to your title about not watching Champions League games anymore. I suspect you may not get the option from an Arsenal perspective. I have had grief all day from supporters of other teams and Wenger has had a huge amount of vitriol shouted at him. I do think it s gone too far now and he should step down for his own health/sanity. He has rumbled on a little too long now, but he does not deserve this. if this carries on its going to end in bad feeling and divorce and he deserves better,

    I was thinking today, when was he last time I heard anyone on Arsenals staff other than Wenger speak? This may be of Wengers doing but the last time I heard Steve Bould talk he was shouting at the ref during his playing days. I don’t think I have heard any management speak since David Dein. Thats a ridiculous situation for a business of this size (I used the word business intentionally because that is what we have become).

    What is happening to our once proud team?

    Admir when you referred to the poor Greek referee, were you referring to his capabilities or his Bank balance? it makes you wonder?LOL

  • TA, I sent a 2nd post to your box. Ps skip the 1st post.
    The site is so quiet…………………………………………….??

  • I haven’t seen the game, but from what I’ve read, Barcelona had more than a few favourable decisions go their way…

    I don’t know why UEFA bothers with the whole charade of the CL?

    Just pick Bayern, Barca, Real and Juve, and put them straight into the semi-finals, after all that’s what they and the TV companies want.

    The whole thing seems as bent as a €9/$9/£9 note to me…

  • News coming in the Sir Chips, our chairman, mentioned in his statement that Wenger’s future will be decided in due course.

    Actually whatever is Wenger’s decision, it might or might not be well taken by any side, the WOB or the AKB brigades.

    Lots of people will want him out, but it does not make sense for him to leave. If he goes, the first team guys will go with him. The fans will be happy, but yet sad as we might see a player exodus.

    If he stays, some of the first team guys will leave, but the fans will be largely unhappy

    If it was me to make the choice, it will be a bad time to make any choice.

    But if I really have to make a choice, squad stability is more important than anything else and I would choose to steady the ship before passing it over to the second in command, which is Bould.

    That would be the most ideal decision, and I think Wenger will think the same way. Any level headed person will think the same way too.


  • Well, I watched a bit of CL football yesterday but actually missed the 2nd to last Barca goal–a Suarez dive & pen?–switching over to the Man City frustrations vs Stoke. I did see the last lofted ball and volley, however… Overall, TA, you’re just about right. The reffing seems atrocious unless you’re one of the giant teams and it reeks of behind the scenes influence. That said, it seems the Qataris (PSG ownership) must’ve come up short in their payments–at least relative to how they bought the 2022 World Cup. The Abu Dhabi folks (Man City ownership) should take note if they want to get past Monaco and continue on as English representation. The big difference between reffing styles (England vs the rest of the Continent, not West vs Southern so much…IMO, at least…) seems a big problem going forward..

    Regarding our tragic situation… I thought we looked pretty good in that first half although Bayern had the best chance with the Lewandowski whiff late on. Theo was bright but also missed some of his opportunities. His pen shout probably was called correctly esp. when judged against Lewa’s offside and divey effort and the absurd changed card which killed any vestige of Arsenal pleasure on the night. After that, it was all about Alexis. He had a wonderful dribble at the top our box before a long ball to Bellerin (which came to nothing of course)…and an equally horrid one (in the same area) which gifted Bayern one of their goals…

    The selfishness of his play AND his histrionics has reached absurd levels, IMO, and seems almost exactly at odds with what Wenger (and the rest of the team) are trying to create (or preserve) as we continue with the impossible situation at hand. LIncoln City will see more protests and half-hearted fans (except those from LIncoln, of course…) and then we’re likely to see more of the same as the team attempts to get up for a top 4 finish or get a result at Wembley. (If we can beat Lincoln, which could be quite difficult, I think). It will take professional performances against the lesser clubs and then (somehow) we have to have some good football AND spirit (or at least positivity) AND resilience at home to the Manchester Clubs and at Spurs. Can we do it? On current evidence, there’s not a chance in hell… On the other hand, we’ve done it before and Wenger has taken us forward in somewhat similarly toxic situations. Is this one different or worse? It sure feels like it…

    I liken it to Shakespearean Tragedy. AW’s fatal flaw is his vision for the club which has swayed ownership (and it’s impotent board of directors) and made him the only one who can lift the poisoned chalice to his own lips. Meanwhile a banal (and far lesser, IMO…) enemy (Alexis) has bought into the narrative of the rabble and seems to be actively trying to undermine Wenger and the collective (his loyalists?…) with his belief–as he had a Barcelona–that he is better than Messi and that his fate is more important than his club’s. The loudest fans believe likewise, of course, and would be perfectly happy to throw out the baby (the manager) with the bathwater (his best players) and enjoy a few seasons looking from the outside in on this ideal of competing within your means and trying to conjure up some good football on both the island and the continent. To me, it’s still a worthwhile vision even if it’s absolutely failing at the moment…

    Anyhow, that’s about all I’ve got to say for the moment… I could add a predicted line-up and call it a match preview if you’d like TA… Otherwise, it’s all yours…

    😀 😦

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