Arsenal Should Hire Pierluigi Collina

There have been far too many games in which at least one major decision has gone against Arsenal. And this isn’t a new phenomenon linked only to this season. The Gunners have also been lucky with some marginal calls and it’s not all one way traffic but based on my recollections the ‘against’ tally is like a cricket score while the ‘for’ list is an endangered species on the verge of extinction.

There can be many reasons for this. Leaving conspiracy theories aside, despite seemingly strong evidence, I feel one of the prime causes for this is the primitive approach to football by many managers, players, pundits, and referees in England. Unfortunately, Arsene or anyone at Arsenal cannot really change that.

The most disappointing and distressing aspect is that Arsenal can’t even honestly protest blatantly incorrect decisions.

Wenger has been portrayed as a whinger (partly his own fault but largely due to the fact that his thoughts are way too advanced for the Neanderthals) and his points, however well made they might be, are summarily dismissed by many analysts and pundits as the ravings of a sore loser.

The players can’t really complain. If they do it on field they risk a booking for dissent. If they do it off-field they face FA charges, if they do it at half-time the team might have to pay for it in the next game.

As far as I know the club doesn’t have any official means of filing a complaint either but my understanding here is sketchy at best.

Fans can complain all they want but it doesn’t really matter. Most of the times even valid arguments are dismissed as Arsenal are perceived to be a ‘whining club’.

I have been thinking about ways in which the club can bring the dubious decisions into spotlight without antagonizing the referees, the FA, or the opponents. As discussed above, the manager, players, or staff can’t really do it.

Then I thought, what if the Arsenal hired a guy like Pierluigi Collina, one of the most respected refs in the world, to provide a neutral analysis of each game for the official website. Surely a club can have expert opinions on its site for the benefit of the fans? Will the FA or Premier League have any valid grounds to object to this? If Graham Poll can write for a tabloid, why can the Italian write for Arsenal.com?

Collina is considered to be the best in the world. There could be a clause in his contract that he has to provide a neutral, honest opinion. Not sure if such a clause would make much sense or make any practical difference but the point is to highlight the neutrality of his opinion.

When an ex-ref with his background and experience writes something, others will have to show some respect. Surely that won’t always be brushed aside as ‘whinging Collina’? Can the refs continue to give poor decisions against Arsenal knowing that their performances will be analyzed after each game and put in public by the most trusted name in the field?

Of course, genuine mistakes will happen. I’m more than willing to accept that as a part of the game. But over time won’t we get a much better idea whether our conspiracy theories hold any water?

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t expect this to be a magic solution to end the title drought. I don’t think this will cover up for the mistakes of the players, the weakness in the tactical system, or any other fundamental problem at Arsenal.

I see this as an effective and efficient way of dealing with perceived injustice. If nothing else, Arsenal fans will improve their understanding of the laws and will have a reliable source to point to while debating the decisions from a game. The club can offer at least that to the fans? And if it works out, we might just get more objective data on the decisions for or against Arsenal. We don’t know what it will lead to. But it’s worth trying, no?

P.S. I haven’t talked about the Newcastle game after the match report as I haven’t had the heart to see it again. This article was prompted by the debate around the decisions from our last two games but is not meant as an excuse for the Newcastle result or other performances.


50 Responses to Arsenal Should Hire Pierluigi Collina

  1. kman says:

    Great idea!

    Wouldn’t have a clue what his fee is being a financial advisor now, but surely Arsenal.com could afford it in their budget considering our financial fortunes at the moment…

    Perhaps a well-worded email to the Arsenal Supporters Trust might provoke a positive reaction…

  2. GF60 says:

    Nice thought Desi. As much chance as me falling pregnant but good thinking anyway.

    • desigunner says:

      Yes, to be honest, even while writing the piece I wasn’t too gung-ho about the chances of it ever happening. But from a distance all I can do is put ideas forward. I wanted to take my mind off all the player bashing and hateful opinions and focus on something constructive.

  3. critic says:

    I totally and whole heartedly support your P.S.
    And boy, every blog was whining about refs, FA corrupts and you come up with logical answers.

    Kudos desi.

    You should move on to a bigger platform -have your own domain name.

    This could be one of the best blog for arsenal.

    • critic says:

      desi, thinking over it for a while i reached some conclusion.
      At start such move will be appreciated by fans but soon every other club will hire referee to nullify arsenal vigil on incompetence.
      And teams like mustcheat united very well know how to influence referees. They will try their best to write a report on a ref suiting their interests. And soon moronic pundits will take over again.

      Back to square 1.

      • desigunner says:

        I disagree. If other clubs hire referees it will only lead to a more interesting debate. A number of loop holes in the laws will be exposed. It can only make the game better over time.

        I don’t see how anyone can just nullify the considered opinion of someone like Collina. This would not be a matter of two fans trying to get the better of each other with random arguments.

      • critic says:

        may be through xenophobia????

  4. FoolishgooNer says:

    Yea! Arsenal fans including myself act like the step sister, think like a victim. Jack wilshere get in on a Mistimed tackle against faint nikolAS Sigi and he was chastised. The young gun spent weeks apologizing! Frankly I think that is the problem. Arsene wenger talks too damn much is too damn open his players want the perfect Image. this is freaking football we are more technical more talented then most teams. If felt threatened break some legs yourself. Surely we can afford 3 game bans! Stop talking about it running scared and blaming whomever. The only solution is play ur game with purpose, break legs when you have to. Play football when you don’t need it. Keep your mouth shut and get on with it because noone cares what you have to say. Thugs only understand thugish behavor, diaby you didn’t get your money”s worth. Arsenal fc arsene and players need to stop talking and start acting like everyone else. You will never be treated fairly. You are a tichncally gifted team with a French manager In an English soul. Until Jack Rambo and theo became leaders we are IN for rough treatment. I can’t stand Warren Barton FSC former new castle/England defender a hypocrite of a man. Always comments about arsenal footballing decissions but never the truth! I’m do e venting let’s just hope we don’t face barca with Selvester 2.0!!!!!!

    • desigunner says:

      I don’t think Arsenal can play the thugs at their own game. Eduardo didn’t dive but did you see the witch hunt against him? Similarly did you see the character assasination of Cesc that has been going on with no mention of the point that Fabregas is kicked off the ball more times than any other player in the league? If an Arsenal player commits serious fouls he might end up getting 6-8 game bans. We never know how people will react. Not only that the opposition will get a license to attack Arsenal even more because the ref can than say he has been consistent with impunity.

      I do agree that our players and manager can reduce talk about these topics and stop apologizing and stuff. It doesn’t get them anywhere.

      • critic says:

        if arsenal players get 6-8 match ban then it will be same for other team’s players. Sooner or later fa might think over the dangerous tackles that need to be addressed.

        I personally advocate arsenal to learn and apply dark arts of the game without apologizing.

        Barca do it without shame. why can’t we??

      • desigunner says:

        When, in the recent years, have Barca ever played like thugs? They do a lot of playacting but that is not likely to work in England.

  5. Galma says:

    everton goal was offside.nothing was done at the newcastle was worse .arsenal should do something wenger these not time to ignore what is happening

  6. D-Gooner says:

    Great idea but I can’t see that happening, and if it ever happens then it won’t be long before we hear that we are trying to influence the refs decisions. By the way as always it was a good read from one of the best…

    • desigunner says:

      Thanks. I agree it’s difficult to see this happening. There might be other complications for the club in doing something like this that we cannot anticipate from a distance. But it’s a thought worth considering.

  7. Hong_gunner says:

    the refereeing standard has been pathetic, no doubt. but it has been consistently pathetic. yes, we have been at the receiving end a bit more than the others, some teams have had a bit more favours, but throughout the season, it all evens itself out. which more often than not happens in football. I wish the standard of refereeing improved, but I doubt FA will look into it any further. what we can do is improve our game and try and kill games before we need help from the referees to win or protect our leads. that shows our team still has a vast room for improvement.

    • Wrenny says:

      But it hasn’t evened itself out, which is the whole problem.

      If it was simple incompetence and every team benefited/suffered equally from this then it might be tolerated (although we shouldn’t have to put up with incompetent officiating in the ‘best league in the world’).

      But this is not what is happening. Refereeing mistakes have not evened themselves out where Arsenal are concerned, and especially where Man Utd are concerned.

    • desigunner says:

      I don’t agree with the notion that it evens itself out.

      Can you tell me a single game where Arsenal got three points because of big decisions going our way consistently? I can point of plenty of games where big decisions have consistently gone against us. Some like Everton we’ve won despite the ref but in others like Sunderland and Newcastle we’ve dropped points.

  8. FoolishgooNer says:

    Galma mate. There is nothing you can do as stated in the article by Desi. Most teams/fans in England fancy and are envious of Gunners talent techinical ability. We have a French manager Spanish captain relatively young team in a bias English media. We the manager arsenal fans and players cry for fairness, but it ain’t coming anytime soon. The only solution is play with purpose break legs if you must protect yourself. Youngsters like Wilshere Gibbs Theo Rambo will eventualy have some merit and respect. I hate to be negative but that is the honesty truth. Trophy or no trophy we have to over come major bais media and fa/refs.

    • USA GOONER says:

      Well said. We brought the discrimination upon ourselves by not discriminating when it comes to building teams (hope that makes sense). Only way to fight back is on the field. Stupid reactions from players and poor defending only help the haters. Our job is harder, I agree, then Manc and others. That’s why victory will be so much sweeter for us then when they get “helped” into championships and trophies.

  9. Kushagra India says:

    A bit too far fledged IMO but interesting nonetheless it will certainly give a different perspective..

  10. bops says:

    lets move on people.. I am more worried about JD’s injury.. if he is fucked then bye bye title ..

    • metalhead says:

      Rumors are going around that Djourou is out for the rest of the season because he has damaged his knee ligaments. I just hope and pray that is not true!

  11. feygooner says:

    Wow, that’s a great idea, not sure if it’s feasible though.

  12. santori says:

    Forget the refereeing.

    We just need to deal with the fact that we will often times be playing against 12.

    What I am more concern about is our options if Song and Djourou are out. Potentially, this is more damaging than anything ‘psycological’.

  13. Raghugovind says:

    Desi how about an Analysis of Importance of the Defensive Midfielder on Arsenal’s style of play . As can be seen from various draws , defeats and victories . Why the sending off of Diaby and absence of Song almost always affects Arsenal’s play !!!

  14. Si says:

    We can’t do anything sadly. Just make sure we’re 15 points better than Man U so we win the PL. Which means we’ll prob only win it by 1 point

  15. kanenas says:

    Nothing we can do imho, we are called whiners for all of it, it does not matter how many players we loose to bad tackles, how many decisions go against us. As long as the media does not get involved, and we know pretty well how much they love us!!! The worst of it all is that it happens in the best league in the world and they need to protect it no matter what the cost. If something like that happened in Italy or Greece there would have been hell to pay by now.

    • desigunner says:

      What disappoints me most is that even ex-Arsenal players who love the club don’t express balanced opinions or point out glaring injustices.

  16. pezman33 says:

    Nice, but hes too old and doesnt speak french, an unlikely signing! great idea though, but i think the league should intervene and start using refs from abroad, and sending ours in there place like european games… it will irradicate bias that may have subconsiously built up in our refs/the fear of man utd and also broaden there horisons. For example a foreign ref would of sent Barton off for excessive force!

    • desigunner says:

      That’s another excellent idea – Ref-Swapping. Could improve the standard of referees around the world.

      UEFA or FIFA could mandate that each league should have X number of foreign refs. And that each league should send certain number of refs abroad each year.

  17. Usman says:

    what referee phil dowd? He is wrong newcastle second penalty is wrong rosicky not push newcastle player

  18. amband says:

    how about they stop defending like tarts. Get some English players

  19. critic says:

    I don’t believe it!!!!! Is it finally happening??? Fab and co. pulling out of friendlies???
    yaaaaaaaaay………………………

  20. Greencard USA says:

    The FA bureaucratic culture will not be moved by such criticism; they will merely settle down to ‘not being moved by outside influences!’. Fans across teams organized perhaps by Arsenal fan club should organize a demonstration outside FA offices and bring pressure on them to address the refeering inadequacies.

  21. Lenny says:

    Check out Untold Arsenal for analysis of all referees in our games this season. The bad decisions are not a coincidence. There is a team buying the title, and not just with their own games, and the anti Arsenal brigade won’t see this but we gooners need to.

    • desigunner says:

      I have been following that series. The decisions against Arsenal are clear to see. I’m not sure if we can broaden the spectrum to other games because Walter hasn’t done similar analysis for other teams’ games.

  22. desigooner says:

    We are having a meeting of Arsenal Supporters trust tomorrow evening, and I am taking the liberty of quoting your thoughts and indeed the whole article to them. It may not work out but is worth a try. We will not know unless we give it a go.
    Forever Arsenal

    • Greencard USA says:

      A good place to start something constructive and focussed. The players, managers, and football club may have their hands tied through official policies and procedures but the supportes trust may have greater freedom to act decisively. We are tired of lamenting endlessly about this, it is time to do something.

    • desigunner says:

      Great. If possible, let me know what others think of this and whether they can take it to the club.

  23. Ajinkya says:

    Was watching Real Madrid vs Sociedad the other day. At half-time RM had committed 1 foul, and Sociedad, 6. Well that’s a fair number because Real was dominant. In our league and especially against us, we may see many of our players fouled more than 6 times, individually in half an hour. Why this difference?
    Is it that they play fair, and here we don’t(our opponents that is)?
    Can we call BPL the most cynical league?

  24. FoolishgooNer says:

    Great: at this point we can’t control injuries! We can’t buy to cover. Bring Kyle B back play Miguel and sit SQ until Thomas V comes back. Bring Ramsey back surely he stronger than denilson smarter than Wonderfully Talented Diaby and fresher than tires song. One game a week and he will be upto date. Play more Chamakh strenght and sheer work ethic, if we can’t get it from the middle less Song/Diaby. Stop talking to the media Boss and players. Have real purpose in each particular game. In this way we stay true to youth policy, we stir away from media bais and we win or lose with our game plan Arsene Wenger game plan lol. It hasn’t brought a trophy for years now, it only go up from here lol. Ps don’t be afriad players leaving for other clubs cause we have even you get more exciting ones coming up.

  25. Mark says:

    1 Million Members for Sacking of Referee Phil Dowd (Arsenal 4: 4 Newcastle)
    if line does not work search for the page name (above).

    join and share –
    http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/1-Million-Members-for-Sacking-of-Referee-Phil-Dowd-Arsenal-4-4-Newcastle/122074121486

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