Man at the match, Chary: Krul’s karma comeback

For once footballing justice was seen to be done where a side wasting time to hang on to a draw had left Ashburton Grove with exactly what they deserved – nothing. Aided by referee Webb (aka Fergie’s rent boy) who was happy to let Krul take an eternity for every restart in play, the Toon army were flaunting triumphalism till the Verminator’s late strike gave them the heart break the Arsenal are so used to being on the receiving end of.

Following on from the impressive showing at the previous home game, as reported by Tim, the Gooner faithful were expectantly waiting for the good form to continue against a Newcastle side that have surprised many this so far this season.

Thanks to leaving my membership card at home your humble scribe was forced to queue up at the ticket office, close to the Armoury, for a paper ticket and therefore missed the first ten minutes of the game.

When I finally got to my seat the selection of Arfa instead of Cisse/Ameobi in the starting line-up suggested some attacking ambition to me from the Pardew, the Newcastle manager – who I was watching for any signs of bad behaviour on the touchline, as evidenced in his fracas with Martin O’Neill in his previous game.

Sure enough that selection option reaped dividends as no sooner had I settled into position then Arfa exploited a positional error by Gibbs and fired in a classy, virtually unstoppable, shot to score and put the away team in front.
At this point I felt like it was my fault and wondered whether I shouldn’t leave, but no sooner had I bemoaned my role as a bringer of bad luck than Theo sprinted towards me, positioned behind the Clock end goal, and rifled in a cross which Robin bundled in, exactly how I couldn’t see as most of the Clock end was already standing, arms and scarfs waving.

That was as swift a reply as is possible to going behind to the oppositions only forward foray and it’s worth pointing out even after the Arfa goal there were no groans from the crowd, just singing/cheering to urge the good guys on. Even the equaliser caused mass celebrations and I got carried away in hugging a stranger in the next seat as the solidarity amongst the supporters appears to strengthen game by game.

The Toon army were silenced and the “We pay your benefits” chants aimed at them caused much glee in the aftermath of the equaliser once the “He scores when he wants” died down.

During the first half the difference between the two wide players of the front three was painfully obvious, Theo was having a storming game whereas The Ox was subdued and didn’t seem to want the ball much. The Ox’s inexperience and youth means we are going to get games like this from him occasionally and as long as the fans show patience with him we are going to have a superstar on our hands.

Rosicky was driving forward and pushing for space in the midfield and getting a fair amount of kicking from Newcastle (and Tiote in particular) which Fergie’s rent boy was happy to wave play on, as you’d expect from the man who allowed a king fuck kick by De Jong on Alonso in the World Cup final.

Webb always seems to want to be the star of the show and his overly demonstrative style of refereeing, coupled with his poor decision making, is always going to make him the ref you don’t want in charge of your teams game unless, of course, you support the plastics of Salford FC, from Old Toilet.

Fergies rent boy at it again

Webb shows who's in charge

To be fair to the Newcastle players when Kozzer was caught on the follow through of a tackle and went down they did stop play, something many teams would not have done.

However the goodwill for that gesture was drained away by Krul’s persistent time wasting tactics when taking goal kicks and free kicks. It was gratifying to hear that as soon as he started this mid-way through the first half the home support started the whistles and booing to highlight his poor sportsmanship.

In situations like this where the team need a certain extra push to drive them on it was great to see and hear how the crowd got behind the team as a red and white tide surged at the Newcastle back line relentlessly in wave after wave of Arsenal attacks.

Another free kick

Another free kick

The change in atmosphere at the Grove during this season will make the hacks lazy assumption that Arsenal have quiet home support look as fatuous as it is specious.

The second half started much as the first half ended with Arsenal attacking and Pardew jigging like a dancing fool on the touchline resplendent in his “Man at C & A” suit that made him look like a parking valet. As we’ve come to expect from him he was haranguing officials all through the game and encroaching on Wenger’s technical area primed to reprise his jig of joy in Wenger’s face from their meeting at Upton Park.

When a Newcastle player went down and the Toon army jeered Arsenal for not stopping play, the hilarity of the Newcastle players not stopping play either when they regained possession made Pardew’s protests look as foolish as the man himself.

Krul’s’ time wasting worsened as the second half went on and Robin ended up running up to him while he dithered around with the ball in order to speed things up and that sowed the seeds of the later confrontation.

Again the crowd didn’t let this go unnoticed and even though Webb did nothing the fourth official was noting the delays so when 5 minutes of injury time came up the Newcastle players shoulders visibly sagged as holding back the Arsenal attacks was wearing them down.

A Gervinho sliced miss and a few headers which Krul did well to keep out in injury time made me think we would have to settle for a draw but as the stadium clock read 9.53 (5 minutes would be up by 9.54) another cross from Theo resulted in the ball in the net – who was the scorer I couldn’t see as everyone leapt up as one and cheered themselves hoarse and yours truly spent the next 90 seconds turned to the away supports and swearing at them as Ashburton Grove reverberated to the sound of a stadium packed with ecstatic Gooners.

I could make out a bundle at the corner of the north bank and West stand where the exultant arsenal players celebrated the deserved winner.
While the man pile, at the bottom of which was the match winner the Verminator, was breaking up Chesney had jogged up to the centre spot where the ball had been placed and cheekily kicked it to the corner flag in front of the away supporters – as if to say to Krul that he was not the only one who could waste time.

Robin was waving his hands up to urge the crowd to make more noise for the end of the match and the crowd upped the volume levels even more with few empty seats even this deep into injury time.
The speed at which Newcastle were re starting play for the final few seconds was priceless – Krul especially ran to take a free kick after a Theo off side with unbelievable sprinting ability. The irony of the injury time that Krul built up allowing the late winner was delicious.

It was too little urgency too late from Pardew’s pretenders and when Webb finally blew up the orgasmic relief of the Arsenal gaining three vital points was shown not only by the scarves held up in all corners of the stadium but by the ferocity of the celebrations thereafter. Sights and sounds to that I’ll never forget.

The Krul-Robin flare up at the end was an amusing coup de grace in the feud between the two Dutchmen as the guilty party was left to pick the ball out of the net.

Prelude to Robin-Krul handbags

Prelude to Robin-Krul handbags

Final whistle melee

Final whistle melee

The team could to be proud of their efforts as could the supporters who have been building up better and better atmospheres for the players to thrive in as the season has gone on.

If we keep up these kinds of performances (hopefully without going a goal down first though) then the catastrophe of the summer transfer window and the subsequent poor start to the season will seem a distant memory

Justice had been done and now all that remained was to listen for the sound of choking from up the Seven Sisters Road as the happy Gooners made their way home.

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About ChärybdÏß1966

As a product of 1970’s Essex I was only ever going to be Arsenal or West Ham – luckily the playground bullies in my junior school were Gooners so given the “choice” it had to be Arsenal. First Arsenal memories are of the Alan Sunderland 1979 FA Cup final when my dislike of ManUre started, which was then turned into an abhorrence by the battle of Old Trafford in the 90-91 season (“You can stick your 2 points up your Arse!”) and it to this day burns brightly as a hatred of all things Red Manc. Match day reporter for 7am where I hope to bring some of the atmosphere of the game and crowd to my reports – I will call the match as I see it at the time – but always from a Gooner’s point of view. Hate reporting on losses but luckily that doesn’t happen often. UTA! On Youtube and twitter as @charybdis1966.

43 thoughts on “Man at the match, Chary: Krul’s karma comeback

  1. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1NorthBanksey

    Great really captured the spirit of the occasion. What sweet justice. I can’t ever remember a visiting teams keeper commencing time wasting so early in a game. I was really disappointed with Newcastle, not only the time wasting but such a lack of desire to attack despite some very good players.

    1. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1Charybdis1966 Post author

      Thanks Northbanksey – the lack of attacking intent from Newcastle, despite having some good flair players, was quite surprising. If they want to step up from being a mid table team they’ll have to show more ambition than they did last night.

  2. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1NorCalArsenal

    Thanks for the report. Great ” never quit” attitude by the team. The last ten minutes was fabulous from fans and team. Way to push to victory.

    1. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1Charybdis1966 Post author

      It’s great to see the way the support is getting behind the team now. Last night was probably the most passionate support I’d seen and heard at a game.

  3. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1ctpa

    You just got to love that Szczesny for kicking the ball away. Priceless. Thanks for your cogent observations.

    Reading over a NU blog, the vast majority were down on RVP as can be expected. There were a few who were fair in saying that RVP did nothing wrong and some were even critical of Krul’s habit of taking too much time on restarts in general. Even Pardew admitted that Frul may have taken too long on one or two restarts.

    Every season Wenger draws the ire of some manager who can then attack him and distract from their club’s failings. We’ve had Pulis and MON and now comes Dalglish. Your boy was on his way down before contact if any so STFU. Any manager who claims that a shirt deal is as good as points is certifiable. Dalglish, you have to ask yourself this question:

    1. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1Charybdis1966 Post author

      After Vermaelen;’s strike Chesney sprayed his water bottle in the direction of us behind his goal to salute our efforts in raising the roof and shouting for the team.
      The exuberance in those moments after the winner was something else.

      1. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Shard

        @Charybdis1966, He also raised his hands with the crowd as we all sang ‘The greatest team the world has ever seen’.. A proper legend in the making that fella.

  4. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Otariq

    Let us be fair, the goal by Ben Afra was not a positioning error by Gibbs. Vermerlen give the ball away in a very bad position, which Gibbs already on his offensive stride was unable to recover.

    Blame Verminator for that Goal.

    1. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1Charybdis1966 Post author

      Having watched more of the game on TV after I wrote the report there is a decent argument for apportioning more blame to Vermaelen, it was just from where I sat it appeared to be wholly down to Gibbs being slack.

      That can happen when you are in the lower teir as you don’t get the perspective you do from a raised TV camera position.

      1. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Otariq

        @Charybdis1966, I clearly Understand, nice report. Thanks for giving us an insight into what it is to be at the Stadium. I surly do hope to one day come to London and enjoy Arsenal.

      2. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Charybdis1966 Post author

        No worries, I hope you do get the chance to watch our team in the flesh one day.

        If you’d a been there last night..well, it was breath taking stuff.

      1. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Little Tripoli

        @Tim, I concur – on review, would’ve have been better for Gibbs to show him to the byline than inside.

      2. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Caribkid


        Wondering here if we give the players scouting reports on the opposition. If Gibbs knew Ben Arfa’s was primarily left footed then he’s definitely to blame.

        On the other hand, if he wasn’t told, then it’s down to lack of defensive coaching. Remember, typical right wingers are right footed and the instinct would be to cut off the line.

      3. +1 Vote -1 Vote +111cannons

        @Caribkid, I don’t know that any professional fullback would give up the inside to the opponent, regardless of scouting. It’s bad defending. Better to let him past you on the outside.

    2. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1ctpa

      @Otariq, Vermaelen would give the ball away a total of 3 time (as near as I can recall) in the opening half and Song once. It doesn’t matter since Vermaelen redeemed himself. Players care.

  5. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1jax

    Tomas Rosicky where have you been all these years? That was the performance we’ve been waiting for since you arrived as “life after Pires”

    1. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1ctpa

      @jax, Just because you are declared ‘fit’ doesn’t mean you are back to pre-injury performance levels.

      Ramsey is an example of loosing a year of performance growth and experience growth plus getting his timing back. We still need to wait for Ramsey to get back to where he was prior to his injury and then take off from there with this season under his belt.

      1. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1jax

        @ctpa, True…but I can’t remember Tomas ever playing so well for us even before all his injuries….he may have done , but I can’t remember when. It helps that he is now playing in central midfield rather than in the wide positions he’s been used in.

    2. -6 Vote -1 Vote +1Tim

      @jax, Yeah, he’s “Like a new signing” because we spent £15m in salary to get him to the point where he can start 10 games a season effectively!

      (this response is filled with sarcasm)

      1. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Tino

        I get the impression you are setting up a platform for an “I told you so” somewhere down the line as far Rosicky is concerned.

        I have thought about it some more and I think I understand why you think it’s a terrible deal. Rosicky is over 30 and is unlikely contribute the number appearances that would fall in line with his rumored compensation. The club may feel they could have done better or maybe they are happy, in either case it’s a done deal.

        Rosicky as far I can tell, is the only one at the club who can really play the Cesc position at this time. Ramsey has struggled in this role, while Wilshire is a very much unknown quantity. I do recall Wenger tried him in this position last year for 45min. It just didn’t work. Wilshire has vision and technique, but he struggled.

      2. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Tim

        @Tino, Everything I write is a set up for an “I told you so” because everything I write is an opinion piece.

        He’s had a good run of games, looked particularly feisty against Newcastle (lots of tackles, etc) but as far as “filling the Cesc role” that’s a hell of a stretch. He created just one chance that entire game.

        Rosicky is a decent back-up player and like I said, he’s valuable in as far as he knows the personnel on the team. But at the same time you can’t decry Diaby’s salary and injury run while lauding Tomas.

  6. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Little Tripoli

    Anyone watching on tv know what happened with the ghost goal from our free kick that Webb demanded re-taken. Was it an actual goal, or had play been obviously stopped beforehand?

    1. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1NorCalArsenal

      @Little Tripoli, It was stopped. Little Howey was giving out a yellow card for the foul. It was a “wait for my whistle” kind of stoppage. We didn’t wait. Therefore no goal, retake.

  7. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Bunburyist

    Always enjoy reading your reports, Chary. Well done.

    As for the visitors, I’m in agreement with NorthBanksey: I was stunned when I saw Krul time-wasting at the 30-minute mark of the first half. Shocking. I’ve never seen a team do that quite so early in a game, especially a team that was supposed to have aspirations of a top four finish. You wouldn’t even expect a relegation club to come to the Emirates and time-waste so early in the game. I really wonder if it was Krul’s decision alone? Basically, it’s an admission that your team is shit.

    As for the Barfa goal, wasn’t pleased with Vermaelen’s carelessness, but even less pleased with Gibbs’ effort, and I hate to see keepers getting beaten at the near post. Wasn’t that Almunia’s specialty? Anyway, I can’t fault the rest of the performance, and I believe very strongly that characters like Gibbs and SZCZ can and will learn from their mistakes. Vermaelen has shown signs of sloppiness in recent weeks, but he more than made up for it with his lung-busting heroics in the second half. More of the same fight, please!

  8. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1ace

    Chary,had as much fun reading your post as the match.hilarious stuff.
    Somebody asked where rosicky had being all these time. We could say the same about walcott. He was almost perfect last night. We are nigh unbeatable with that kind of output from walcott,sagna and TR7.

    1. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Charybdis1966 Post author

      @ace, Agreed, Theo played like a man possessed. It was fitting he was the last man off the pitch at full time and the cries of “Theee-o, Theeeee-o” were ringing in his ears as he went into the players tunnel.

  9. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Tee Song

    You could fault both TV5 and Gibbs on Newcastle’s goal. For me, Gibbs allowing Ben Arfa to so easily cut back to the middle onto his stronger foot rather than showing him to the byline was particularly galling. Just as important, however, is how did Tiote, Obertan, and Ben Arfa all manage to get goal side of our midfielders and run at our defenders?

    The midfielders got caught too high up the pitch. Song chose to pressure the ball early and Rosicky didn’t drop back into Song’s position and allowed Tiote to receive the ball behind him. Tiote actually could’ve turned and ran at the defense then but played it across to Obertan who had gotten goal side of Arteta. Mikel managed to get a foot on it and TV5 seemed to be caught in two minds on whether to pass it or just clear since Ba was closing him down. In the end, he did neither, playing the ball going straight back to Tiote. Including Tiote, four Newcastle players are able to receive the ball in space, in good positions, and running at our back line without our midfield coming into the picture.

    So, plenty of blame to go around. As is often the case, multiple defensive errors need to occur to score a goal.

  10. +4 Vote -1 Vote +1ctpa

    Go to Untold Arsenal under Walter’s referee review to view more on this scandal. A La Porta crony is admitting that for 10 yrs Barcelona got favorable decisions from refs in La Liga and Uefa to help them in their glory years. The current Barca president Roselle does not ‘enjoy’ that kind of influence and that’s why Barca are languishing behind Real Madrid.

    What do you have to say for yourself Mr. Busacca? What about that clown who was seen in a Barca kit before he refereed our 2006 game? The media should be all over this but their silence is deafening. Uefa want to take Wenger to task, well f**k ‘em and the bulls they rode in on.

  11. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Teampossible

    As much as I love Tim’s posts, I have to say I also very much Chary-sh (get it) these reports.
    The Chesney moment at the end, for example, priceless.
    Please do keep on, Chary.

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1JV Mauer

      @ctpa, No need to for NUFC to worry… Pool’s just a one-man team… if it wasn’t for their captain, they’d be nothing… ;)

  12. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1JCWhite

    Thanks again for a good read. I legged it from from highbury and islington station as I was running late, missed ten minutes too. completely knacked after that run. Fantastic support from the fans, hopefully one day we can all stay behind until the final whistle blows. we are improving..

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