Writer: J P Fear
Date:Thursday March 15 2007
Voiceoftheholte, voice of reason!
On last nights game he said in response to my match report and comments by a few other fans:
Arsenal are a great footballing team. This isn't down to having the best players it is down to the training regime installed by Wenger. Having said that Wenger is a genius at spotting and acquiring new talent.
My only gripe about Wenger is that 95% of the players are foreign. There is nothing more exciting than cheering on one of 'your own' and this is never likely to happen under Wenger.
So although Villa are comparable to many clubs with our foreign contingent I get more satisfaction from seeing Cahill, Moore, Davis, Barry, Agbonlahor etc. I also except that there comes a time when M'ON must decide if these players have the ability to take us to the next level.
As for time wasting, the injuries were just the tip of the iceberg. The worst situations were players apparently about to go and take a free kick, throw in etc, only to get by the ball and then walk away. We then had to wait and see who was taking it, as Arsenal apparently argued amongst themselves over responsibility. Invariably a player 50 yards away would then slowly jog over. Wenger and Henry made a great story about this when Wigan did it, but thought it OK to do it themselves. The time wasting is bad, but the hypocrisy is worse.
And as a qualified and still serving referee I feel I can give an honest, impartial assessment of the refs performance last night. It was poor. He lacked control and his positioning was shocking. I know fans were frustrated by several offside decisions but without the benefit of replays I can not comment on the assistant refs performance.
The Arsenal goal though was onside and the foul on Carew was outside the box. It would have been wrong to send off the defender though. I only found that out this morning when checking in the official rule book. It states 'if the last man prevents a clear scoring opportunity, he must be dismissed from the field of play ......... unless you are an Arsenal player playing at Villa Park'.
So there you have it.
Date:Thursday March 15 2007
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