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The Purists... My Arse!

By Mike Berry :  30/12/2007 :  Comments (12) :
When I was a child, only Shanks amongst managers was the master of the media. He was always ready with a witty one-liner, although he has been more than once or twice misquoted.

Today it seems that managers are all masters of the sound bite. If a team quite rightly don't want to be beaten. They are said to be 'parking the bus' in front of their goal. Teams such as Bolton are 'long ball', or brutal or not technical.

The leaders in this division of spin are Arsenal and our 'friends' from across the park. Forget the latter for now, because what sticks in the gullet of this Blue at the moment is Arsenal.

Now I love to watch this side. Football at its purist is 'pass and move' and the ability to beat a man by skill. Arsenal are GREAT to watch. But, and its a big BUT they are also masters of gamesmanship, the sly kick, the wind up and the calculated dive.

All of which we saw at Goodison on Saturday evening. Every decision against them was contested, with the inference that an opponent was to blame for the foul. Showing mimic Red and Yellow cards. Two blantant handballs, where was the refs White Stick? Time wasting that was urine taking to the extreme. Lastly a master class in acting that Larry would have appreciated. Thats Grayson not Olivier by the way.

So who are the real purists? We are! OK we aren't Angels. But we play it long and short. We do kick people, but we don't complain. We don't show imaginary cards. But we do play football or try to.

Incidentally did anyone see the near incidendent just after the match ended. An Arsenal player seemed to taunt Phil Neville. Who ignored him, now that's class!

Reader Comments

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Mick Simo
1   Posted 30/12/2007 at 18:10:08

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Spot on, I had this argument yesterday with some ugly RS, its an old record but for every bit of great skill these French and Spaniards bring to the game they bring this baggage of cheating and it pisses me off when the likes of Wegner and fat head try and defend it or deflect it to bad tackles. The buck stops with the manager and that is why I hope Moyes gives Arteta a little ear bashing. Play acting is one thing that I hate rolling around as if you have been hit with a baseball bat, now you know and I know if you get hit with a good left hook you dont roll around, you hit the deck and stay there for a few seconds. Its cheating and I put it down to the manager to stamp it out
Jeff Magee
2   Posted 30/12/2007 at 18:17:57

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I have been thinking along these lines for a while now - whatever you think of Moyesie he never whinges - sometimes I wish he would (but again fair play he sticks to his principles) - our players don?t whinge - don?t chase referees and don?t play act - I am an admirer of Arsenal and Cesc Fabregas - I think he is better - and has been for some time than our prodigal son - but he needs to cut out the feigning of injury as he did last night. I was surprised at Mikel and Phil for their $tevie Me style dives - but I am sure that Moyesie does not condone or encourage this and I would not be surprised if he told them to cut it out - but after last years treatment of AJ (which I believe ruined his season - through a dip of confidence as his character was being assassinated by all the media - I feel that AJ is a quiet type who just wants to get on with his game with little or no fuss). I feel that this side of our game should be emphasised more in the media - however whilst we remain outside the top 4 this is always going to be the case - as if you are in the top 4 you can win by any means foul or fair as shown by Arsenal yesterday and you are lauded to the skies - winning ugly is ok - witness Redshite at Derby etc - come the revolution this will all change and things will be as they should ie EFC at the top again. COYB
Lee Gorre
3   Posted 30/12/2007 at 18:59:31

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One thing’s for certain, Arsenal can mix it when they want to. For all Wenger’s bleating about teams playing it too physical against them, they were the one’s playing it dirty yesterday, 5 booked (6 if you include Bendter’s 2 yellows) and numerous bad challenges amongst virtually non-stop and mainly unpunished dissent thanks to a very weak referee.

Any respect I had for their style and approach to the game ended completely at full time yesterday.
Mick Mac
4   Posted 30/12/2007 at 19:03:50

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Was it not that plastic faced french man who started the AJ diving shite last season, it was, what a cheeky bastard
Simon Templeman
5   Posted 30/12/2007 at 19:24:05

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Mike,
The card count tells it?s own story
Best regards
Simon
Dave Wilson
6   Posted 30/12/2007 at 19:13:36

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Arsenal brought the ugliest game to GP I have seen for years, that it took 4-5 vicious tackles - the cowardly downward stamp type, before this useless git produced a card was a disgrace, they feined injury, spat venom and constantly wasted time. They sqeel like pigs if the teams get physical with them but saw no harm in trying to end every Blues attack by either a cynical pull back or a career threatening foul
I dont want to see the "entertainers" again, I never thought the day would dawn when I would rather play the way we did than Arsenal did
Brian Lambert
7   Posted 30/12/2007 at 19:59:32

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My god, I have never read such a load of poor losers crying over a lost game. Arsenal have had to learn how to win hard, it is a credit to a good Everton side who made Arsenal switch to a long ball, hard into the tackle game. All sides use a bit of gamesmanship when they are winning, even Everton, so take it on the chin like a man when you lose, and don?t try to blame Arsenal for your defensive mistakes which gifted the game.
Paul Columb
8   Posted 30/12/2007 at 20:09:40

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Here, here Brian.Though we were grand in the 1st half but defensive cock-ups, fatigue and a timely Arsenal tactics switch killed us. And no room for whining about the ref or player faking when 3 of our lads pulled out blatent dives high on the cheat spectrum......shame. COYB
Mick Simo
9   Posted 30/12/2007 at 20:09:39

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Brian you do have fair shout, but for me it wasn?t the tackles it is the hypocritical words of Wenger, he moans like a spoilt brat for roughing his players up, calls Andrew Johnson a diver and slags teams off for spoiling tactics to stop his team passing, then in one foul swoop his own team commits every aspect of the game he has moaned about since the day he arrived here, you have got to take the rough with the smooth, and when it gets rough take it on the chin and dont moan and slag other teams off
Ian Tunny
10   Posted 30/12/2007 at 23:45:16

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It my sound like a poor excuse but I think Arteta and Neville were right to dive. AJ nearly broke his leg because of a terrible challenge combined with his body weight on his standing leg. If you go to ground there is less chance of serious injury. I think particularily the Neville dive, if he didn't go down I think he could have been badly injured.
Rob Hollis
11   Posted 30/12/2007 at 23:56:03

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Yes Brian, we did gift you the game. Good job for you because when it comes to pure football you could not compete. You are the rich man’s Wimbledon.
Can’t wait for the return.
Used to think Arsenal were good but reading today’s Times I understand why. they don’t watch the same game, just print the lines from the Arsenal press offfice.
Alex May
12   Posted 01/01/2008 at 02:32:55

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Look back through the recent furore over two-footed and reckless challenges and you will see that Arsenal have made more x-rated challenges than anybody, yet all you hear about is their ’beautiful football’.

Wenger may be a fantastic coach, but he is the biggest hypocrite that I have seen in the game. Whether it concerns players who dive, serious foul play or underhand methods of stealing players from other clubs, this man takes the piss.

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