The Away Boys have made it clear to Arsene
It seems amazing to be so worked up after such a dull game in terms of any goalmouth incident. Having said that it is no surprise that Joey Barton sits at the centre of the controversy this evening. It is also no surprise to me to be talking about the weak and incompetent officiating of Peter Walton.
Let's start with the football before we get to the lowlife scum. Arsenal played their usual game with lots and lots of passing, but no end product. After twenty minutes Chris Waddle commented as to how Arsenal were in "complete control." Of course he was right. But we still hadn't had a single shot on target. Gervinho was far and away Arsenal's best player this evening, but it hasn't taken him long to realise that shooting at goal is not allowed all the time there is a square pass on. Apart from Gervinho the only positives to me were an assured presence in goal (though I would rather see my goalkeeper catch the ball than punch it away) and an excellent performance from the back-four (any weakness came from Gibbs, but he was much better today - his best performance in the first-team for a long time). Aside of that there was simply the gaping hole left in our creativity without Fabregas, Nasri and Wilshere. The away fans, who are usually singing "one Arsene Wenger" were unequivocal in their assessment throughout the second-half as "spend some f***ing money" echoed around the otherwise silent St James' Park (great atmosphere, my a**e). It is clear that Wenger needs to do something big in the transfer market this week because once the travelling fans have turned against his policy he has nowhere else to go.
Now, what about that controversy I was talking about? Let's start with Alex Song, who should have been sent-off for a stupid stamp on Barton. Yes, Barton had fouled him, but the free-kick had been given and, had Barton done what Song did, we'd have been screaming blue murder. A combination of the fact that Song plays for Arsenal, and that it is the start of a new season, will ensure that Alex Song will almost certainly be banned on Monday morning. Certainly if that twat Ray Stubbs on ESPN has his way Song will not escape - in fact I think he could be looking at a custodial sentence. It was stupid and irresponsible by Song and he will get what he deserves I suppose. What followed from there was typical Barton as he marched off the pitch to abuse the fourth official - isn't it a bookable offence to leave the field of play without the permission of the referee?
Now the penalty incident. TV replays have shown that Tiote definitely DID trip Gervinho. The referee didn't give the penalty (but also didn't book Gervinho for diving). What followed showed exactly why Joey Barton should not be on a football field. The man is clearly completely out of control. With play ongoing Arsenal should surely have been awarded a penalty when Barton grabbed Gervinho. After that Gervinho slapped him (a very girly slap) and was sent off. Barton should be ashamed at the way he threw himself to the ground and claimed he had been punched - and all this just seconds after wrongly accusing Gervinho of diving. What a scumbag. I think Arsene was right when he said that it's either a yellow for both or a red for both - Pardew claims that Barton did nothing wrong, but he's another cretin, isn't he? For the referee to send-off the Arsenal man, but only book Barton, showed that the incompetence and bottling has not been eradicated over the Summer. Once again we've been robbed on two counts - it took 75 minutes for it to happen this season.
As an Arsenal supporter I found the conduct of our players at the final whistle absolutely disgusting. How could they shake hands and hug Joey Barton after what they had just witnessed? The only one to come out with any credit was Thomas Vermaelen. Such an incident called for the sort of reaction Keown and company had to Van Nistelrooy at Old Trafford in 2003 - if ever you needed to know what is missing from the character of this squad it was laid bare following the game today. There wasn't even a retaliatory kick at Barton while the game was going on. Let's not forget this isn't the first time he has got an Arsenal player sent off. Sickening all round. I just hope that anyone who wanted this horrible c**t at our Club has now changed their mind.
I'm signing off now, and I fully expect to get at least one response from a Geordie (able to type through their webbed fingers) calling me a "whingeing cockney" or some variation.