Arsenal And Pool Fans Both Blame Webb

There's lots of crying about Howard Webb's performance in the morning mailbox. Plus, thoughts on Milner in the middle, Rooney's contract and laughing at QPR...

Last Updated: 17/02/14 at 09:36

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Suarez To Blame
So yeah, Liverpool, the Double. That lasted a long time eh? On a more serious note, before you're inundated with Liverpool fans who claim that Webb 'robbed', I'd like to point out that he was equally bad for both sides (Gerrard should have gone, Sterling dissent, Podolski booking), but also, with a player like Suarez, you reap what you sow. His theatrics and gamesmanship mean he will continue to miss out on decisions like that.
David, embarrassed for Chelsea too, Gooner

United In Blaming Howard
So yesterday at the Emirates I was really disappointed with the performance of one of the "best ref's in the league" Howard Webb. He had given almost every marginal decision Liverpool's way!

Every time Sanogo tried to win a header he would blow up for no real reason. It seemed to become somewhat of a farce! I mean we were lucky to avoid a second penalty being given, (at the time it seemed as if the first was either soft or just outside, I am aware that was wrong) but Gerrard should certainly have been off.

But I came away with the feeling that we had been the better team, and rightfully gotten the win. Hard fought, against some dreadful reffing and a good side. But I was astonished to read when I returned home that consensus was firmly that Webb had helped us to the win.

It just makes me think that it is so easy to get a skewed perspective when attending the game. Looking back with hindsight it does seem that we were fortunate to avoid a second pen. But the countless minor decisions often get overlooked in favour of the larger more controversial ones. Which is probably right but it would be nice for this kind of thing to be pointed out every now and again.
Jamie AFC

...Webb is a real joke of a referee and in no way England's best, to bottle such a blatant call is disgusting. Referees need to stop being so weak in caving to pressure. "Rooney can't be sent off against Cardiff cos its 3 minutes in, liverpool can't have two penalties in a row at Emirates cos these things just shouldn't happen in football" rubbish. It's like ex refs saying they were relieved when United won each time at old Trafford. Gutless , spineless, lack of respect for the job you are meant to do.

Yeah yeah penalty for Arsenal not given later, but that wouldn't have happened had our pen made it 2-2 so there.
Andrew (LFC)

...First off I'd like to make it abundantly clear that I'm not making claims of bias or putting forward the case for some sort of persecution against my team perpetrated by the callous bastards that are on the staff f365 (you get enough of that from others). But I wanted to take slight issue with your headline ("Arsenal through with help from Webb") and the paragraph beneath it.

I absolutely agree that Liverpool should have got another penalty as you correctly state, but we shouldn't be the only ones thanking Webb for ridiculous decisions that went in our favour. Arsenal were denied a clear penalty (imo) themselves when Agger felled Ozil as he burst into the box, and footage I've seen shows another occasion on which Skrtel went in very high and caught Cazorla in the box with his studs late after he had miscued a shot, which though more debatable is clearly a case of Skrtel missing the ball and catching the man. A player catching another player late once the ball has gone always seems to be given as a foul anywhere on the pitch, apart from in the box, where defenders are seemingly free to foul the striker as long as the ball has gone or a shot has already been taken. You see it happen all the time, but that is an issue to be discussed another time.

How Gerrard escaped being sent off I'll never know. Being England captain appears to have it's benefits (reference Shearer on Lennon).

Basically what I'm saying is that there is a reason why both sets of fans at one point sang in unison: "You don't know what you're doing" to Webb.
Jakey (Jimmy Sham's No.1 fan) East London

Weekend Observations
*Last week I managed to get into the mailbox with an email about how ice hockey does supplemental discipline. By coincidence, several football writers (including a couple of yours) were taking in the Russia v USA ice hockey game. Hope you enjoyed it, and thanks for not being facetious or complaining about a lack of fighting. There are variations for penalty shootouts depending on which competition it is, but I've never seen someone take as many consecutive penalty shots as TJ Oshie did. I can't help wondering if Matt Le Tissier might have played for England more often if he had been able to take all the penalties in a shootout.

*At least two newspapers this morning have as their back page lead the photo of Luis Suarez in agony not being given a penalty, while no newspapers have as their back page lead the fact that Steven Gerrard should have been sent off for two yellow cards. It's ridiculous! It's not like referees have a history of undue leniency on England captains. Oh ...

*The early chance Vazquez had for Swansea highlighted the problem of one-footed footballers. He got in a good position and a great ball came over the top, but Vazquez used his stronger right foot to go round the goalie. By the time he had got himself set to shoot with his right foot, Everton had recovered. Had he been able to a) strike home left-footed or b) use his left foot for a first touch to round the goalie and finish with his right, the game might have been a different proposition.

No one expects players to be equally gifted with both feet, but it shouldn't be too much to expect players to either be able to stroke the ball into an empty net from a few yards, or play a short pass (even to themselves), given that the weaker foot can be improved with a little extra effort. It's a bit like cricket, where no one expects bowlers to be great at batting, but they are expected to work on improving their batting to an adequate standard.

*Someone should probably check on Nick Miller after Forest's embarrassment at the hands of Sheffield United yesterday. He might need a hug or a blankie, he'll most likely get a "WAHEY" right in his face.
Ed Quoth the Raven, CPFC the Glaziers, Notts

Highlight Of The Weekend
What a weekend! Aside from the on-pitch matters, which I'm sure will be discussed to length on this website, I just wanted to ask this:

Is there anyone (apart from Chelsea fans), who didn't thoroughly enjoy Pellegrini and Wenger showing Mourinho his place?

Milner In The Middle
It was nice to see Milner get some time in the middle of the park at the weekend, albeit for a brief twenty minute cameo. Reminded me what a decent player he can be, although sadly also reminded me how much he has wasted his career to date (in my opinion anyway), largely being stuck out on the right.

He has a great first touch, technique, balance, vision and two good feet, and just looks so at ease in central midfield. He also, because of his good touch, has that ability to always look like he has time on the ball...reminded me how good he was for Leeds when he broke through, and Villa towards the end of his time there.

Just seems like such a shame that he cashed in to go to city and waste his time playing the wrong position. Don't get me wrong, I think he does alright on the right - decent crosser of the ball, works hard - but he's not a winger by any stretch and he's always just "doing a job".

I guess that's the price you pay for chasing cash and glory though. England could certainly do with another decent option in centre mid. Maybe he should consider a move across Manchester...
Alex, Brisbane

I'm sure you'll get plenty of mails on the Rooney contract situation (another mailbox hijacked by Man Utd and we've not even played this weekend), but I wanted to add my opinion to the mix.

As a Manchester United fan, my initial reaction is disgust and disappointment. Disgust as this is a man who has on numerous occasions agitated to leave and has said less than flattering things about the club, and whilst his reintegration into the team (term courtesy of the ECB), has gone somewhat smoothly on both occasions, it is sickening to see the man continuously rewarded with a wage which far exceeds his talent, as he seemingly holds the club to ransom yet again.

Disappointment is more due to lack of bravery and in some ways a lack of ambition. Whilst some may laud the club for having the financial clout to secure the player, it represents a fear to depart from the past and to properly rebuild (something which has also been seen in the 'Fergie-Lite' managerial choice), as the massive amount of money tied up in Rooney will surely impact on the funds available for new arrivals.

I'm not suggesting that Rooney is a bad player, a quick look at the stats will show that he has been incredibly consistent over a number of years, both when played as an out and out striker or played off the front. Regardless of this, I can't help but think that if this rumored deal goes through then it will serve to hamstring the club financially and ultimately do more harm than good.
Matt, Manchester (Hopefully it's a cunning ruse so we can extort daft money from Chelsea)

Laugh Away
I'm just going to take this opportunity to have a quick laugh at QPR and Harry Redknapp. Despite assembling a squad with a veritable who's who of Premier League players who will no doubt be eyeing the Premier League B with saliva spilling from their mouths they're still 11 points off the top and 4 off 2nd! In the January transfer window, their striker got injured so they bought 4 new ones. They're about to loan Ravel Morrison of West Ham too.

It's almost as if they've learnt nothing from their previous experiences of buying a new squad and getting relegated. Surely there's no team spirit there? Personally, I'd be really p*ssed off if there was a constant threat of losing my place in the team despite not doing anything wrong. Their squad should be walking this league, but they aren't. They got beat 3-1 last night by Reading - where's Samba when you need him eh?
Nick P. Burnley FC

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lassic management. Build them up and then knock them back. Raise expectations and then dampen them. Create a dynamic where by you demand the most from your team, but where the team are given room to manoeuvre unexpected or unwanted results. Classy work by Van Gaal, he really reminds me a lot of me. A smart cookie, make no doubt.

Van Gaal: 'I struggle for first three months'


e will be the England left back for ten years or more, and then you will have to thank MUFC for that. *smiles*

london saint
Shaw: Criticism spot on


urely because of that little diva moment he had last night, I don't want him coming to my club. DESTROYED ? Grow up and give something back to the club that helped put you up there on the world stage.

bale doubt
Saints' Schneiderlin stalemate

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Mail Box

Divock Origi Is Like Connor Sammon (Sort Of)

One Mailboxer inserts his tongue into cheek to offer his thoughts on Liverpool's newest signing. Plus thoughts on league-owned clubs, badges, and swearing...

Mails Come From A Land Down Under

We have an example of league-owned clubs from Australia while Kiwi boys want more respect for refs. Plus, Van Gaal won't stick with 3-5-2 and worried if Koeman will cut it...

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