Ashley Young falls dramatically

The FA give the rulebook an Atomic Drop

With all the diving and controversial calls in the League and with public sentiment against officials at an all time high, it’s fair to say that the last two weeks in football have not been exactly great for the Barclay’s Premier League. Ironically, much of the furor started nine days ago as Chelsea faced Arsenal’s opponents today (Wigan) and the very next day Manchester United squared off against QPR. Two games which should have been somewhat easy wins for the top four clubs involved and which instead devolved into examples of the worst the Premier League has to offer.

First, you should know that I’m not an anti-diving evangelist. Diving is bad but is no worse than any of the other forms of gamesmanship we see day in and day out on the football field. If I had my way I wouldn’t “stamp out” diving, but rather, I’d start by stamping out disgusting tackles like the one Mario Balotelli somehow got away with on Alex Song last week. That the Football Association reviewed Balotelli’s “tackle” and chose not to do anything about it leads me to wonder if the real culprit isn’t the players but the association which supposedly governs them.

Two weeks ago, three events occurred which the FA could have ruled on but which they rather chose to hide from. The first was the review of Balotelli’s studs up challenge on Song, the second was Ivanovich punching a Latics player off the ball then in the same game Chelsea was gifted all three points when the sideline official missed not one but two offside goals, and the third was Ashley Young’s offside-blatant-dive to get Shaun Derry sent off and earn his team a penalty against QPR. The only one of those three things they dealt with was to drop the official who gifted Chelsea the three points. No similar dropping of the sideline official who also missed that Ashley Young was a yard offside. No similar dropping of the official who was conned by Young’s dive. And no similar dropping of the official who claims to have seen Balotelli’s tackle on Song’s knee and didn’t even think it was a foul.

Like I said, I can’t blame the players or really even the officials when it’s pretty clear that the real problem is the association which governs them.

None of the above is meant to absolve players for the playacting which is now as much a fixture of the game as overpriced beer and moving game times to accommodate broadcast television. It took Ashley Young just 7 minutes before he dove to win a penalty against Aston Villa. 7 minutes was all the respect that Young could muster for the club which gave him his career and for the fans who loved him for years as he struggled with the inconsistency of youth. 7 minutes was all the respect he had for the club which protected him in that youth as he started to earn a reputation as a diver.

7 minutes.

Philippe Halsman and Salvador Dali, who once collaborated on Dali Atomicus,  couldn’t have created a more surreal photograph than the one above which pictures Ashley Young in all of his flying glory, in the 7th minute of the match against his former team.

But let me show you something, let’s start with Young’s dive:

That’s a stonewall dive. Young’s defender attempts to remove himself from the situation and Young even actually plays the ball to the right before he takes a step to the left in order to try to draw contact. But there was no contact and desperately trying to draw something, anything from the defender, Young kicks out his left leg. And there still is no contact. How on earth does this get called a penalty? And just as importantly, how on earth is this player allowed to get away with blatant dives two weeks in a row?

Now look at Charles N’Zogbia’s penalty that he earned for Wigan against Arsenal in their miraculous 2-2 draw last season:

Here we see that there is minimal contact, Koscielny brushed N’Zogbia’s knee, and the Wigan player then takes a step on the leg ostensibly effected before pulling his other leg up off the ground and then executing a judo roll. If that’s a foul, I’m a Smurf.

7am Smurf.

And if that’s a foul, then can someone please explain how Balotelli planting his studs into Alex Song’s knee is somehow not a foul? They can’t. No one can explain any of this because it’s inexplicable.

The fact is that no one knows what any of the rules are any more and that’s clearly exactly how the FA want it to be. The problem is that having the rules and their interpretations clouded in mystery, having an association that is supposed to govern those rules refusing to implement technology which would expose the inconsistencies, and having the players exploiting those inconsistencies threatens the very product that they are charged with protecting.

Unless what they are charged with protecting is something akin to the World Wrestling Federation — where outcomes are predetermined.

Qq

53 thoughts on “The FA give the rulebook an Atomic Drop

    1. -1 Vote -1 Vote +1NorCalArsenal

      Yes. A little zinger to end another great piece.
      The way these guys are just collapsing and flailing to the ground is very exaggerated. It is very WWF. And very WTF.
      Legitimate penalties are not being called because it no longer looks like a penalty unless you are somehow catapulted into the air.
      Ramsey should have had one last week but because he had the temerity to continue with the play it was not even considered.
      Maybe not corrupt but very suspect.
      The FA did try and save face today by pointing out they have always been a strong proponent of goal line technology. The Chelskis got another free “goal” yesterday.

      1. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Shard

        I think that’s a red herring to be honest. I mean how often do you have contentious goal line decisions in a season? 2 or 3? I think there’s a much bigger issue that they hide from and obfuscate. There is no reason video should not be used. None. HOW to best use it is another issue, but it’s taken them years of nonsense about 100% accuracy (something which can never exist) and a fair few controversies, to even talk about goal line technology being introduced. It isn’t the real issue in my view.

      2. Vote -1 Vote +1NorCalArsenal

        Totally agree it is a red herring. They are not so out of touch to realize that people believe they have lost the plot. That’s why they trot out the ” we have always supported goal line technology, but we are waiting on FIFA”.
        What a sack.

  1. Vote -1 Vote +1gsco

    All I could think when I saw that dive was that Young clearly got the message from the FA that they sent with not rescinding the red card for QPR.
    It is such a shame that we have the FA, UEFA, and FIFA in charge of the game we all love. Disgraceful at all levels of the governance structure. You would think they’d recognize the damage they do to expanding their appeal in new, growing markets like the US. At least that has an impact in their all-important pocketbook. But still they persist against all common sense. As Tim points out, it is against common sense when your assumption is that they aren’t corrupt. It makes more sense when you remove that assumption, which is sad.

  2. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1feygooner

    Great blog today.

    And it’s not just the FA, its UEFA and FIFA as well. UEFA think racism is half as serious an offence as “disrespecting” referees who make horrible calls.

    And the media too (or at least the English media), they’re more concerned with the 4-5 goal line decisions that are wrong every year rather than the 40-50 offside/illegal goals.

    The footballing world badly needs a revolution.

  3. Vote -1 Vote +1Teampossible

    Unrelated, but Daily Fail indeed: “Redknapp revealed earlier this season that defender William Gallas, who has won two league titles with Arsenal, had given a pep-talk to the players, telling them they were capable of winning the division.”
    Could this sentence somehow be more inaccurate than this?

  4. Vote -1 Vote +1critic

    Hey shut up. I love WWE. Oh those moments when wrestler accidently hits referee and pins down his opponent and referee takes ages to come to his senses and then just before the count of 3 the pinned down opponent gets up….ooh ooh. :p :p

    Even if it is fixed it can’t be predicted by fans. But here one can easily predict the outcome(close to it, favoritism), influence of referees and venues.

  5. -1 Vote -1 Vote +1BradyWasGod

    Sorry, Tim, have to disagree with your assessment of the contact in your two clips. Ashley Young was moving to the outside, cut back inside off his left foot (your “step to the left to draw contact”), got hit on the right foot and THEN launched himself into the air like an Olympic springboard artiste. I actually thought Fergie’s assessment was pretty accurate (contact, penalty, overacting), and I HATE it when I agree with that prat. And Koscielny leaves his leg out for N’Zogbia to run into, looks like quite solid contact by the way Koz’s foot whips around and N’Zogbia’s knee buckles when he puts weight on it. Could he have stayed up and run on? How can anyone know except him?
    Having said that, I totally agree with your main point, that the FA has got their priorities ass-backwards, and are sending out a disgusting message to players and public by letting tackles like Balotelli’s go unpunished because it had already been seen and ignored. Your conspiracy theory may be correct, although another plausible scenario is that the FA is run by a bunch of sad old duffers who just don’t get it, and have to rely on tradition and technicality to paper over their incompetence.
    Good blog as ever.

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1Tim Post author

      Not all contact is a foul. By your standard of contact equaling a foul there would be multiple penalties on every corner in every game. Maybe that’s what you’re arguing for, I don’t know. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that neither of those contacts warrant a penalty for me because neither was a foul.

      1. Vote -1 Vote +1BradyWasGod

        I’m not saying any contact = foul, I’m saying you can’t know how much contact in any situation is enough to bring a player down. When you slow the action down to a few frames, you get a very detailed view of the action, but it’s removed from its context. You’ve played, so you know when you’re making a cut or turning at full speed, your balance is often compromised and it can take little or no contact to bring you down. I think you just have to let the marginal calls go, there’s no way of knowing what really happened.
        Don’t get me started on corners. There’s no way the referee can call all the shit that goes down because both sides are doing it. But by not calling it, it lets the players get away with increasingly egregious behavior. I think it cheapens the game, but not sure what you can do about it without players’ cooperation.

  6. Vote -1 Vote +1BradyWasGod

    p.s. I think what irritates me more is the blatant fouls in the area that DON’T get penalized… Ramsey as already mentioned, and Robin Van Persie getting bundled over by Kompany (?) with an elbow in the back spring to mind…

  7. Vote -1 Vote +1gsco

    Agree about goal line technology being a red herring. It’s being “looked at” by FIFA so they can keep delaying and messing around and not have to introduce video replay.
    I think it was Phillipe Auclair on Football Weekly a couple of weeks ago that said some great things about it. Basically, The whole goal line technology research they are doing is rubbish. We don’t need a chip in the ball or hawkeye or whatever. We have the technology, it’s called a camera and instant replay. Been around for a while. Have the 4th official take a look. If he can’t over turn the call on the field in 30 seconds than the call on the field stands. Less time than it currently takes to resume the game while all the players are complaining.
    Actually, my first step would be to have the football authorities remove their head from their rectum and use video evidence to better punish players after the fact. Doesn’t slow the game down in the least. But punishing players for dangerous play and diving whether seen on the field or not would make them think twice at least.
    Never going to happen, of course. But while I am on my fantasy wish list:
    Yellow card for anyone that surrounds ref moaning about a decision. Wouldn’t take long to cut it out of game if they wanted to.
    Yellow card for trying to con ref into giving you a throw in or corner/goal kick. Minor but really annoying.
    Yellow card for raising hand to get offsides call. Seriously annoying.

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1Tee Song

      Goal line technology is a red herring. The governing bodies don’t want instant replay or post-match video review but they also know that the clamor for using video will only increase. However, if they introduce goal line technology they can appease the masses by bringing technology into the game while at the same time not instituting video review. As you rightly point out, video review will resolve 99% of contentious goals but the problem is if they use video for that, they have no justification for not expanding video review into other areas.

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1Tim Post author

      I would totally write a blog post about this issue if I didn’t think it would anger some folks I’d rather not anger right now. But I will say that I whole-heartedly support fans getting involved with their club on issues like this, which are very important and are something that can and should be controlled.

      Arsenal deserve a spokesman who honors the traditions of this club.

  8. Vote -1 Vote +1ctpa

    Well we don’t need Robson today to explain in technical detail and with chalk boards how shite Arsenal were in that 1st half.
    Moses is destroying Sagna and Beausejour has Walcott in his pocket.
    To make matters worse, Arteta goes off with an injury leaving us to hope Ramsey can get his act together in the middle.

  9. Vote -1 Vote +1ctpa

    I still expect an Arsenal victory no matter what the score is at the end of the 1st half. Goes without saying we can’t let in a 3rd.

  10. Vote -1 Vote +1ctpa

    Well deserved victory by Wigan and a sloppy lost by Arsenal.
    We had no penetration in the middle of their defense. All our wing attacks were corralled by a trio of Wigan defenders. Wigan were set up well and defended intelligently.

    1. -2 Vote -1 Vote +1DF

      Agreed. We missed a few golden chances though, especially Santos’ shot from 3 yards wide from a Van Persie cross…
      Djourou’s quick shot in the FH is just wide, too, no luck…

      The team is unbalanced by Arteta’s injury and the introduction of Ramsay.
      He is still badly out of form, cannot attack, and cannot defend; he only slows down the midfield’s attack, and prevent Song from going forward, as he always stays upfield.

      Santos playing as an extra striker also upsets the balance; the loss of 2 goals in the early minutes, though more the fault of a rarely out-of-form Sagna and Szc who should have saved the two goals with better timing, than Santos, but his staying in front upsets the balance of the midfield.

      Once again, our subs are under par. Gervinho, the Ox cannot change a game. Walcott is anonymous again when a team does not play a high line and allow him to run at the defence.

      Rosicky is MOTM again, but his quick fire passes finds no receiver most of the time; and the team tires in the second half.

      How can this team fight for the title next season? We cannot remain consistent after winning 8 games. We lost to QPR, Wigan. Not getting the full 3 pts against such teams means we cannot be title chasers;

      Well, we are in danger of losing 3rd. If Spurs & newcastle win the next game, they are just 2 pts behind us. newcastle may not catch us; they have to play Chelsea and mancity….however, Spurs only plays against the bottom half of the table; QPR, Bolton, Blackburn, their toughest games are against Everton & Fulham, while we have to play Chelsea & Stoke….

      There is a chance we may be 4th and behind spurs.

  11. Vote -1 Vote +1ickenhamgooner

    Golly, Tim. Your fancy little video images really killing my Safari browser. Keeps crashing. Had to sign on via Windows laptop and use Firefox. Maybe an issue with the new site as never had an issue before?

    That aide, performance a bit poo tonight and we got what we deserved really. No real openings in the second half to speak of.

  12. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Limestonegunner

    Well, its now squeekier bum time. Sad to drop the points but we didn’t make all that much happen in the second half from 60 minutes on. Credit to Wigan–looks like they will make another great escape. Losing at home to them is just a waste.

    Marriner was a pure pedant and the foul not given on Walcott was annoying, but Wigan deserve at least a point and Victor Moses torched us all evening.

  13. Vote -1 Vote +1ctpa

    I am not going to pick on Ramsey for his overall play because none of our midfielders offered much today. Ramsey does annoy the hell out of me when Arsenal lose the ball and he goes into waddling gait to chase back, he always starts off by dropping his head and looking at the ground first with that ‘aw, shit now I ‘ve got to try and get my ass back’ expression. Rosicky late in the 2nd half motions to Ramsey to get out of our own 1/3 and put pressure further up field and he stays back and allows space to be attacked by Beausejour.

    We never had the closing down intensity that Arteta brings to our game and for me that contributed big time to our not being able to mount a comeback.

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1DF

      Agreed. Instead of blaming Ramsay, we should concentrate on our lack of capable substitutes. Arteta cannot play every game; no one can. We need better subs to change a game and to afford rotation of the squad.

      Remember the times when we dont have Vieira, or Gilberto, we still have Edu, Parlour to play in midfield. We have too many striker/wingers, players like Gervinho, Walcott, The Ox, but not enough midfield enforcer and creators on the bench.

      Something is wrong with Ramsay. He hardly communicates or talks with team mates on the field.

      I wonder if it is a good thing Santos plays so high up the field? He is liable to make the wrong pass which starts counter attack by the opponent; and someone has to fill his vacancy when he is so high up–Gerv? Yossi?

      1. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Shard

        When Arteta went off, I was wishing that Coquelin was fit. He seems to be able to pass the ball around well enough, and has the energy to tackle and chase down players. I think he would have been a more stable player than Ramsey. But hey, injuries. What can you do? By the way, did anyone see what happened to Arteta? Or rather how it happened?

      2. Vote -1 Vote +1Casual Observer

        Yeah the communication thing really irks me. Especially in pressing. Rosicky was losing his patience running himself to the ground while Ramsey stayed off Wigan’s short passing triangle so it was pretty ineffectual in the 2nd half.

        I honestly think its a confidence thing. Both by personal performances and the fact the team is under pressure when losing. The senior players can do their best to cajole and lead by example but still think the young ‘un’s need to learn to show some fire in a constructive manner when losing.

      3. Vote -1 Vote +1tino

        Wenger said that Coq should be back in squad this week. I am also hoping he comes in for Arteta.

  14. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Casual Observer

    Well that was gutting but Wigan worked for it and worked the ref pretty well (who looked out of his depth letting the game flow; if the function of the rules was to ensure the Beautiful Game is carried out, then shouldn’t interpretation of the rules follow? Allowing Wigan to take a 45 seconds for every stoppage in play and then calling for a re-take when the ball moves 1 rotation for Arsenal is downright f*cking pedantic).

    Hate to single out individuals but I thought Walcott was spineless defensively. I’m fine with him going 20 minutes without touching the ball once in attack because he pins Figueroa back (who in my eyes, is the best player in the Wigan back 4. Or was it back 10). I thought the Gomez goal came about because Walcott was sloppy in position and couldn’t be arsed to recover to help Sagna defend. Sagna’s a beast of a defender but against Moses who has the physique of a 100m sprint champion and a 2nd attacker he didn’t stand a chance.

    All the 50/50 balls in and around the penalty box went towards Wigan or just drifted away from Arsenal poachers even when Habsi did his best flappyhandski impression for the Ashburton crowd. Song was careless in possession as well I felt, and would like to see if Tim could procure his stats for today’s game (if only to justify all this misdirected angst). My Arsenal MotM: Verminator hands-down. Rosicky and Santos were obviously tired towards the end but god did they work their socks off – all the (half and otherwise) chances created seemed to move through them.

    Thought 2 scenes summed up the match for me. Victor Moses put through 1 on 1 with Sagna trying to edge him out and he stays on his feet and ultimately pulls off a shot (he should’ve scored but thankfully didn’t commit SZCZ well enough). And Walcott put through in the last 10 minutes and tumbles after Figueroa’s comes across him. God if Walcott had an ounce of Verminator DNA, he would’ve spanked a thunderbolt at the goal and regardless if he scored (chances are he would’ve), gone back and sunk his iron studded Verminator weaponized boots into Figueroa’s face. Overall I felt it was an effort made by the Arsenal team, not particularly valiant or effective, and ultimately not sufficient to transcend the unconducive refereeing. If this game was an Arsenal player I would say “Ramsey”. Willing, but let down by lapses of concentration. A lot of endeavour but little end product. A kick in the teeth – hopefully they react against Chelsea.

    /end rant.

  15. Vote -1 Vote +1dy

    wigan is the better team tonight. Sloppy 2 goals to concede early, but can’t blame the boys as they’re fighting hard to get back. Its almost always down to the last dribble which was too much and lost the ball to the opposition. The second half was full of frustration and very little attempt at the goal. Feel so bad for Arsenal because they really don’t know how to crack a parked bus, or should I say Arsenal doesn’t have the quality in all the players to overcome that obstacle.

  16. Vote -1 Vote +1dy

    it does seem to me Sagna wasn’t at his best tonight, maybe because knowing Kos wasn’t at his back to cover, and therefor a bit hesitant ? Or was it Moses just has too much power and pace to deal with ?

  17. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1ArseChicago

    Lay off, Ramsey. Most of the squad were poor today. Missed Koz, surely. On the offensive, we got nothing started from the wings. At this point, we’d all take 4th place and have the season end immediately. Unfortunately, we’re going to have to see this out. Sack it up.

    1. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Shard

      No way. I’m still aiming for 3rd. No more CL qualifiers for me. Those are worse for my health than a few league matches are.

  18. Vote -1 Vote +1mike

    Andre marriner is a cunt for refusing to punish wigan for their persistent fouling and time wasting until the final minute which only aided them in wasting even more time. How disanto wasn’t booked for any of his numerous fouls is beyond me. Wigan were good but were aided by luck and a biased/incompetent referee.

  19. -1 Vote -1 Vote +1amishhaircutters

    i dislike ramsey more and more as the weeks progress. He doesn’t press, doesn’t run, does stupid flicks. Can Arteta take him aside and teach him a thing or two?

  20. Vote -1 Vote +1tino

    A few months ago on the ArsenalReviewUSA podcast Tim predicted that Wilshire would be out all season. Wise Oracle, which one of our most important players will be missing because of injury next year? Arteta, Koscielny, Scz, Song, Ramsey?

    Will I ever find fame and fortune?

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1Tim Post author

      If the pattern holds true it will be Ox, though I suspect not next year but 2013-2014.

      As for you, you seem like a nice guy, smart, so, I’m going with ‘maybe’.

      Good luck

  21. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Caribkid

    We lost due to lack of defensive organization or lack of it more than likely. Both goals were scored with Arteta injured on the sideline and no one took the initiative to reorganize until we were at full strength. As our defensive leader, I have to place that on the Verminator.

    Yes, he wants to win, he plays hard and has fire, but where was he when those goals scored with 10 men on the field. The offensive third. We need someone at the back who can read the game, adapt and know when to hunker down. Don’t know if Koz or Pers have that ability.

    We tried hard but lost our composure in the 2nd half. We spent more time complaining to the Ref about time wasting than focusing on winning the game.Wigan stayed cool and composed, kept on wasting time, and packed the center with 3 CB’s to nullify our lack of height.

    Hopefully they review the game and learn from their mistakes.

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1Eurazian

      I have to agree. I can handle losing if we do our best and are just beaten by a better team on the day. What makes me tear out my hypothetical hair is goals like the first one. Conceding like that is absolutely criminal. How does a team not have more than one player back in a covering position? In the 6th minute with the score 0-0, Arsenal are throwing guys forward like it’s the 95th minute and we are down a goal.
      That’s one of the knocks against Vermaelen; a fantastic player, yet not having the patience to play conservatively when it’s called for. It’s not necessarily him to blame for that goal, but when we have so many experienced players now, how are we conceding the sorts of goals that 13 year olds would be wise enough to avoid?

    2. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1tino

      Calling out Vermaelen and Scz is not in fashion. In the future please assign all blame for an Arsenal defeat to one of the following pre-approved scapegoats, Arshavin, Denilson, Ramsey and Djourou. Choosing Alex Song has bonus points, he is your man when we concede or for trying create a goal scoring opportunity.

  22. Vote -1 Vote +1Bunburyist

    Why are people dancing around the Ramsey issue? It seems to me if a player is not pulling their weight, we should be able to say so, and Ramsey is one of those players. While it would be churlish to blame losses on one player alone, you have to admit that Ramsey offers the team very little indeed. And while I know people get upset about this comparison, quite frankly I couldn’t give a shit: Ramsey offers as much as Denilson. Now, I was one of those mighty few who defended Denilson when he was a Gunner, but I was politely told to go fuck myself. And yet those same people are now telling me to go fuck myself for saying Ramsey is no better than Denilson. Strange world. Gee, I wonder why British Ramsey has “time on his side” while foreign Denilson was written off at the age of 20? Double standards all around. I for one hope Ramsey comes good just as once upon a time I did the same for Denilson. But I’ve had enough of the self-righteous fuckwits who think it’s their personal crusade to defend Ramsey at all costs while foreign players of similar ability were cheap targets.

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1tino

      I was beside myself when someone created a video of Ramsey’s ‘energetic’ display against Wolves another blogger gave man of the match. Earlier in the season I think the same blogger said only David Silva was performing better…. It’s almost as ridiculous as the Ox being shortlisted for PFA Young Player of the Year.

      I personally think he is getting a little better. I think he only had one flicked pass and didn’t seem to cough up possession to needlessly as much. It’s the first time he played the Arteta role this season so I think we can give him some leeway. He needs to work on his tackling and tracking back when we lose the ball. Tackling your own teammate doesn’t count. His vision is still poor or maybe he just doesn’t want to take risks with his passing.

      I am keeping my fingers crossed that either Coq or Diaby are fit for Chelsea. If both Ramsey and Rosicky are in midfield I think we would be too lightweight.

    2. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Eurazian

      While in one sense you are right and Ramsey at the moment is Denilson in disguise, I think there is also a big contextual difference.
      Ramsey is a player of huge potential who was well on the way to fulfilling it, but whose development has been severely hampered by a career-threatening injury. He, like Diaby, has the benefit of an abundance of natural talent, and fans feeling for him because it’s not really his own fault that he’s struggling.

      As for Denilson… well, it wasn’t an injury that made him a virtual non-contributor on the field. And he never showed the upside that Ramsey or Diaby have. At very best, thinking very optimistically, Denilson becomes another Carrick or maybe a Busquets. Ramsey could have been – and could still be – one of the very best British players of his generation.

      Oh and Ramsey cost a lot more than Denilson.

    3. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Caribkid

      Why blame Ramsey when he wasn’t even on the pitch for the 2 goals conceded. Yes, his performance would be described as innocuous or Denilson like, which is not complimentary by any means, but we had a lot of other culprits to choose from.

      Walcott, 3 years his senior was a non entity, Sagna had one of his worst ever performances (easily forgiven), Gervinho was Chamakh like and TV5 was playing like our AM.

      Not trying to make excuses for Ramsey, but this is the worst I have seen him play in his career and we can’t make excuses for his injury for he has had sufficient time to be at least where he was prior.

      It was just a poor team effort and we lost our composure. Our recent history of capitulating to bottom feeders is highly disturbing.

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