As a follower of Arsenal Football Club and the England national team, I have long since got used to disappointment and a general feeling that things would not be going my way. And like most football fans, I have a tendency to bias and see the things that happen to my teams through spectacles of the rose tinted variety.
But sometimes things happen which seem so unfair that I feel it cannot be just coincidence, especially when they keep happening. And the news today, reported by The Independent, that Arsenal are being charged by UEFA for the throwing of flares onto the Emirates pitch by Galatasaray fans, has really got my back up.
For me it seems to be just one more piece of proof that UEFA do not like us for some reason and I think that applies to all English clubs and then extends to our national team and FIFA. I don’t know why it is but we keep getting turned down for major international tournaments even though we are always the best option, with infrastructure, transport and everything they want. But no, let’s do it in Russia or the desert instead.
Back to Arsenal and it is almost impossible to believe that we have had three Champions League red cards already. THREE. And maybe by the letter of the law they could be seen as right, but not when Felipe Melo gets away with an off the ground lunge, two footed and with studs up. What was that about? The TV commentator said that it was because the refs are more lenient this season. Really? Where was that leniency when Debuchy and Ramsey got the softest of second yellows to leave us with 10 men in both games against Besiktas? So it’s selective leniency then. Thye same happened to Man City against Roma, when the foul on Aguero for the penalty clearly denied a goal scoring opportunity and the defender was the last man.
One more example before my rant is over and this one still gets my blood boiling when I think about it. Any guesses? It was the `joke` sending off of Robin van Persie against Barcelona in 2011. For having the audacity of shooting at goal no less. The referee HAD blown his whistle for offside a fraction of a second earlier, but there was no time for the striker to stop, even if he had the super powered ears to hear it over the noise of around 90,000 screaming Catalans. Again, the ref can point to the rule book, but you don’t ever see any other players sent off in similar situations.
So am I just being paranoid or do you think there is a definite inconsistency in how the officials deal with us and the other teams in Europe?