When Arsenal own up: cheers to Highbury House

In the past
18 hours or so, I have heard Gooners admit they were second best for large chunks of yesterday’s game, that Arsenal players were more physical than ours, that Song’s serial offending brought him stern but hardly unfair punishment and that Marouane Chamakh dived shamelessly for a penalty (though not the one that was given; Collymore has confused everyone – see comments).

Great minds thinking alike, a regular Salut! Sunderland reader
Yiannis Skindilias draws our attention to a decent, reasonable account of the game from a Gooner with a platform just as prepare to reproduce it here with admiration:

It’s from Highbury House, one Gooners’ blog I hadn’t encountered before, And I join Yiannis in saluting the author.

Sunderland – a very undeserved point:

The undeserved point! I’m talking about Arsenal, not Sunderland.

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen such a one-sided game and we were on the receiving end! We were the ones making the dodgy tackles, not Sunderland. Thankfully they weren’t nasty tackles but stupid ones nevertheless!

The early stages of this game saw a couple of half chances for both sides. Arshavin with what looked like an easy chance for him, blasted his shot high and up the other end Henderson also blasted high his volley.

Then a moment of madness, possibly never to be seen again in football, but sure to be seen on a A Question of Sport as what happened next? Anton Ferdinand seemed to be in very little trouble but after hanging on to the ball a split second to long, his clearance hit Cesc Fabregas and rebounded towards the Sunderland goal, it looped up and over Simon Mignolet in the Sunderland goal. 1-0.

The downside to the goal, Cesc Fabregas pulled a hamstring and later had to be replaced by Tomas Rosicky.

We were then under the cosh big time but the defence held strong and Sunderland were helping us with some wayward finishing!

By then, Arsenal were defending for their lives.

Koscielny stood out at the back, winning most of the headers coming his way and clearing the ball with calmness! Steed Malbranque, Nedum Onuoha and Cristian Riveros all squandered chances for Sunderland!

It remained 1-0 going into the break, how, I don’t know!

Within minutes of the restart, Arshavin, who I thought was dreadful yesterday should have made it 2-0 but from five yards out he spooned his chance over the bar!! He had another chance soon after, this he sliced wide from twelve yards. Arshavin should have been replaced, we needed a second goal and with Carlos Vela on the bench and in form, the switch should have been made.

Then the moment you could see coming for ages came. Song was not having one of his better days. His tackling had been clumsy for most of the game. Already in the ref’s book, he received his second yellow card. The resulting red card meant his game was over. His second was very very harsh, however he should have had his second yellow a few moments before, so he got what he deserved in my opinion.

In fairness to another site, I will end the reproduction there. Go to the link above to read the whole report. I’d say it was a model of fairness. And just seen: check out the Good Playa site too …

Colin Randall

14 thoughts on “When Arsenal own up: cheers to Highbury House”

  1. Here’s my sixpennyworth if anybody’s interested in an old fart’s thoughts. Can’t disagree with your report. G’luck for the rest of the season…though not at our place!

    Well, the good news is that compared to last season’s 3 away games against the same opposition, we’re two points better off…plus we have a defensive core that for approximately 94 minutes was reminiscent of the “They shall not pass” brigade of the 1990s. Plus of course there was Cesc proving to some that he truly is world class. Who else could handle a pass of such ferocity and deftly chip the ball over the keeper’s head from about 40 yards?

    Others may say he was a lucky bugger. As we know there’s always somebody wanting to knock the Arsenal.

    And that I fear is very much the end of the good news.

    It’s definitely time for AW to take both Clich and Jack the lad aside and ask them about taking chances / playing clever in our defensive third of the pitch.
    If the chance/trick comes off, have we really gained anything? If it doesn’t, what might it cost? Truly it’s a ‘Heads we lose, tails we don’t win’ scenario. Both have been guilty yesterday, this season and in Gael’s case, the seasons (plural) before. And Gael’s belief in his ability to thread a clearance through/under or over The Kos cost us the two points we dropped. Methinks Kieran is ready to take over.

    Likewise Vela from AA. When away from home, AA, seemingly, is still living on the glory that was Liverpool. Yesterday not only did he miss a couple of good chances but was very lazy in helping out a defence that was under pressure from the off. Fine, the pressure was ably resisted (Pressure plus not too much skill is OK…but we may well see pressure plus quite a bit of skill from the likes of MFU and Chel$ki) but when a side such as Sunderland has something like 65% of the possession, even when Cesc was on the pitch, seeing people strolling about when they could be back helping, is more than a little aggravating.

    Having prepared for this game with a serious “What’s the advantage of having a strong English spine?” question in my mind, I’d gone through the whole of the Stoke-West Ham game and alternated twixt Spuds Wolves and Everton Newcastle (at one point the Spuds Wolves headline was writing itself…Wolves let loose in the chicken coop, but it was not to be alas.) I’d come to the conclusion that England will definitely win the World Cup in 100 years from now.. maybe. Any skills present arrived primarily from the foriegn contingents present. Little change from Sunderland either but the spirit was there…and no leg breaker tackles. Plenty of fouls but nothing that was with intent to maim. Alex Song was not very clever. Having been yellow carded for a lunge that missed, he must have known that Dowd was just waiting for the opportunity. In fact one had the feeling that Dowd, despite awarding the penalty, was a little bit of a homer. We certainly had no other favours from him.

    Our first penalty miss of the season…why Rosicky?…cost us the three points but in fairness, we didn’t deserve them. Which is a pity for that great bunch of travelling Gooners whose noise level made it seem like a home game.

  2. Really refreshing to hear fans from different clubs being courteous with each other after a hard fought match. It is a shame that Ol’ Brucey fell into the trap set by the female reporter after the game where she gave him the opportunity to mock Wenger. I am sure he will regret saying that stuff now. The media is responsible for the high level of unsavoury rivalry.

  3. Just to say that I’ve seen a lot of comment today about Chamakh diving but not a mention of Bent’s outrageous attempt to get a penalty that left all of you moaning at the ref only for the replay to show that there was six inches of airspace between Bent and the defender.

    It was the right result in the end but Dowd is a poor referee who is just too inconsistent with his decision making and he spoilt the game. Would anybody have moaned if Song hadn’t have been red-carded, if Bramble had been booked, if the final whistle had gone when the corner was cleared?

  4. Much like last year Sunderland were the best team we faced outside the top 5. Committed without ever being dirty and played reasonably good stuff. Could do with a better wide man on the left but all in all v strong at home, and miles apart from the likes of Stoke and Bolton in size class and ambition. Also a decent guy managing them and with players like bent, gyan and mensah hard to dislike. As long as u lose at the emirates may you have a great year.

  5. Did you see Bramble take out Wilshere? If your name was Blunderland the points would of been ours. Look at our record this season.

  6. I am warmed to hear such reasoned debate.
    As an Arsenal fan I thought were extremely fortunate in 1st half and my only complaints with this game would be about the officiating.
    Not sure what Song’s first card was for (tackle or dissent) but I would have complained about a free kick for that tackle and so could forgive him the dissent. He did make a number of clumsy challenges, but the incident for which the 2nd yellow was awarded, well without a magic spell I cannot see how he could have got out of the way.
    Arsenal were by far the better team in the 2nd half so that was even on balance which means that even a goal beyond the 94th minute following a handball did not make a travesty of the contest, but why they were allowed to take a corner after the allotted stoppage time had elapsed is a question which no-one seems able to answer. Very different application to Goodison last week that much is certain, consistency would make for less complaints.
    Best football I’ve seen against us all season none-the-less, good luck for what lies ahead!

  7. Having watched the highlights on Match of the Day, I am still convinced that Song’s first booking was not for the foul but for dissent after the free kick was given. Phil Dowd did not go to his pocket after blowing up but Alex jumped up and stamped his foot on the floor in frustration as he felt (rightly) that no foul was committed!!

  8. We didn’t play well, Sunderland played very good football up until the box. A draw was a fair result as our goal was a freak one and penalty we should of scored but missed accounted for that. Good luck for the rest of the season.

  9. Well… its not only a single Arsenal blog, yknow. Most of us do agree that it was a point gained I think. Well done!

  10. I got involved with a pre-match discussion with the gooners using this particular blog “Highbury House” when they hoped we wouldn’t resort to the clogging tactics of Bolton. They expressed the opinion that we were above all that and a better footballing side / club historically. They seemed a very level headed, non-abusive bunch who don’t encourage blind negativity or slating of opposition teams or fans. I’m not therefore surprised to read this follow-up, post-match, account from one of them.
    I think if I ever took on a “second” team it would be the Arsenal, proper football club.

  11. Well played Sunderland, very impressive yesterday. Gutted we missed chances to put it beyond you but you more than deserved a draw. Good luck for the rest of the season.

  12. Well, you’d be talking to some very mis-informed gooners in terms of the penalty then. It was NASRI who was tripped and let’s be honest, it definately wasn’t a dive and it was a penalty (just a stupid tackle to make by the defender).

    I agree with your other points though, we were outplayed in the first and parts on the second half, deserved red card and I can have no arguments that the result wasn’t fair. Well earned point by Sunderland.

  13. Any mention that the ref was a little lenient to your side in the first half and that the fact of your player diving to get Song booked in the first place?

    I think you need to make a couple of small amendments to your article.

  14. Hi All

    Thanks for re-posting todays post from Highbury House, I truly wish Sunderland all the best for this season. Trip to the Emirates apart that is 🙂


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