Arsenal fans complain more than they celebrate as Gary Neville needs to STFU

Editor F365
Arteta Arsenal

Maybe Arsenal fans need to celebrate more, not less? There’s a lot of complaining in the Mailbox and they’re getting very defensive.

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Sure, Arsenal won, but what was the referee doing?
So unless someone can explain the refereeing, Bournemouth really did deserve nothing from that game.

There were 4 handball penalty calls against Bournemouth – the final 3 were all rightly dismissed (ball to hand, arm across body, etc), but the first call, in the first half, had the Bournemouth player jumping in the air to head the ball, missed the header, and his outstretched arm took the ball away from an arsenal player – you see those given every single week, and dare I say that is 100% given if it’s Man Utd instead of Arsenal…

Tomiyasu had the back of his boot kicked in the box after he got to the ball first – kicked over in the box from behind after winning the ball, how on earth was that not given? The 3rd penalty Arsenal should’ve had was when Martinelli was rugby tackled from behind (just like Saka vs Souttar with Leicester last week). What the hell is going on with these calls? To make the Martinelli penalty decision even worse, Bournemouth’s second goal, from the corner, came from a free kick where the Bournemouth player nutmegged Partey and then dived. If I was being as harsh as possible on Arsenal, Partey’s finger touched the player’s shoulder, giving him a reason to embarrassingly hurl himself to the ground, but if this is a foul then how on earth is Martinelli getting rugby tackled by the shoulders from behind not a penalty?

Honestly, I am still buzzing from the result, what a goal from Reiss Nelson, plus Nelson and Smith-Rowe were each subbed on and made an assist, well done. But 3 clear penalties denied, Saka penalty last week vs Leicester denied, 2 points from Brentford stolen from the VAR ref who was then fired – these ridiculous calls are adding up and are becoming hard to watch or understand. Post-match referee interviews and explanations, please!
Andrew M, AFC (obviously, and is Partey clear of Rodri and Casemiro? They’re all so good), Australia


For anyone who didn’t actually watch the game (and let’s be frank, that’s a lot of people given it wasn’t on TV in the UK) asking why Arsenal scored in the seventh minute of injury time when only six were allocated, it’s very simple. After about 40 seconds of injury time, Adam Smith sat on the floor again in an attempt to eat up more clock, thinking six would mean six, even if he sat there for the duration. Rotational sitting down was a theme throughout, by the way.

Thankfully, the ref allowed for this at the end of 96’ and eventually the goal came.

There’s no point talking about the handballs which went to VAR (I actually only think the first one was probably a penalty), but Chris Kavanagh allowed Bournemouth to get away with time wasting all afternoon, pretty much. Neto welcomed our first goal by pretending to have cramp. The goalkeeper!! Cramp!! As someone on Twitter said, there’s no stronger drug than a goal that late against a team time wasting so brazenly. I don’t blame Bournemouth for it as a tactic – most do it when they play us, look at how many of our opponents keepers have been booked of late. But the ref should’ve done more about it.

In fact they wasted so much time, and our celebration went on so long there probably should’ve been another minute or so of play after Nelson’s goal!!

Seriously though, something has to be done.
Joe, AFC, East Sussex

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In a previous mailbox there was talk of why Arsenal fans are adopting a defence mechanism of keeping our feet on the ground and saying top 4 was our aim not the title….we’ll games like yesterday are the reason many are doing it! Of course Arsenal are very much in the title race and I suspect the reason Arsenal fans adopt this underdog mentality is partly as was mentioned but more to do with the inevitable p*ss taking if we don’t win it, which would obviously be incredibly harsh. Ie ‘none of us thought you even had a chance of top 4 but if you just fall short of the title then we’ll laugh at you and tell you you failed’

Anyway, on to the match. Football eh? Firstly Bournemouth we’re excellent, I’m fed up of teams raising their game to previously unheard of levels when they play us and we have people asking why are club x fighting relegation when they can play like this!? They were resolute in their 5-5-0 formation and offered quality and efficiency on the counter attack and set pieces – the perfect tactics executed (almost) perfectly.

However we’ve seen before with these tactics it’s so hard to stay fully concentrated for 97 minutes, you mentally fatigue so patience was once again the order of the day. 3 very unlikely but incredibly worthy goal scorers for Arsenal. Partey was brilliant in the second half, he played the role of 2or3 players, constantly winning it back and progressing play and driving us forward. White with a finish any player would be happy with and Nelson with an assist and wonder goal to win it – he’s the forgotten academy graduate- how was he the calmest man in the stadium in the celebration?

This team just never give up and they don’t resort to desperately lumping it in to the box.

Before anyone moans about the goal going in as the clock ticked 97 of the ‘minimum’ 6 minutes added a Bournemouth player went down injured for the first 90 seconds of added time. To be fair the 6 minutes in itself were a joke, 3 goals, 5 sets of subs, injuries and var checks, not to mention the constant time wasting….if we were going by the standard set at the World Cup that would have been 12 minutes easily.

Last minute winners are great but the emotion you pour in to a game like that can’t happen every week.

Finally, the Emirates is the most rocking stadium in the league and it’s not even close. Unrelenting support all game and pushing the team on. No groans, moans or boos. The reaction when the winner went in was superb.

So of course Arsenal are in a title race, an unlikely one not a single person thought we were capable of and have been told ‘that’s it’ at any set back so far this season, and yes it will be disappointing if we don’t win it – but other than supporting the team 100% in the stadium we can’t influence it so we go game to game enjoying this fantastic team and manager.
Rich, AFC


Dear Stewie Griffin…
… and Richard Keys. And Gary Neville. And every member of the board of the Celebration Police.

I want to apologize on behalf of all Arsenal fans worldwide.

I’m sorry we had to celebrate Reiss Nelson’s magnificent, last-gap winner yesterday afternoon.

We still don’t believe insist we’re not firm favourites for the Premier League title.

Manchester United or Manchester City can still win it.

We are just taking it one day at a time, one training session at a time, one injury at a time.

However, sometimes some things just happen that you can’t help but celebrate wildly.

You can’t really blame us because it’s been quite a while since we won the darned thing!

Richard Keys, I’m sorry for William Saliba kicking the corner flag while celebrating.

I’m sorry for Mikel Arteta running wildly out of his technical area when the Hale End graduate scored.

I’m sorry for the sheer pandemonium and bedlam that ensued at the Emirates.

Stewie Griffin, I know our title challenge can still fall apart in February… oh no!, sorry we’re in March. Anyway we can still lose it.

Embark on a losing run that allows the Citeh juggernaut to overtake us with glee and win an umpteenth Premier League title with that Norwegian robot ending the campaign with 57 goals.

Please gentlemen, on behalf of all Arsenal fans globally, I apologize for celebrating so wildly yesterday.

GNev, We are too emotional. I agree.

Yours fanatically,
Alphonsus (Michael Thomas, Aguerooooo, Sheringham, Deeeeeeney, Beckham; what’s your favourite last minute goal moment?) Abuja.


Arsenal grit
Supposedly the Bournemouth game was going to be a stroll in the park.

After 9 seconds the Emirates were stunned. Arteta had made changes to rest players and to accommodate injuries and illness for the starting eleven. Individual ‘fans’ were moaning that he should not be rotating players. Arsenal have a congestion of fixtures schedule and so Arteta needs to rotate the team and we have a good squad thanks to Arteta and Edu.

Arsenal showed so much mettle and grit to come back. Arteta has influenced the mentality of this team and the Emirates crowd is mental.

Ramsdale played his part but man of the match was Nelson. A player who is not considered worth it.

Arsenal will keep batting on game by game touching wood.
Chris, Croydon 


STFU Gary Neville
First of all, I have to admit there’s a microscopic non-Gooner part of me that feels gutted for Bournemouth. Bar being Man U, Chelsea, Spurs or City, I would wish relegation on no club. They deserved some sort of a result at the very least – honestly with more incision in the final third they could have put 3-4 past us and it should have been 2-0 within 20 minutes. I imagine for a side like this you don’t get too many performances as the one they had at the Emirates. The non-Gooner in me thinks it’s a shame they couldn’t come away with at least a point to help their fight against relegation.

Quick word on Reiss Nelson – in the rare minutes he’s been given he has played liked someone who wants to earn a spot in his boyhood club because 1. it’s clearly in his heart to earn the right to play for the badge and 2. he sees where things are going, knows his own talent and is trying to move past his previous injury problems to fulfill his potential and his boyhood dream. I would say that goal went some way towards doing that.

All that being said, if I’m being honest I came here once again to talk about Gary Neville. Seriously, this idea that Arsenal are going to capitulate that he’s been hanging onto just because it’s what he said before and is all his recency bias can conceptualize is f***cking stupid. He literally refuses to give up his own preconceptions and actually objectively analyze any Arsenal result. The idea that Arsenal are destined to crumble at the end is being destroyed by every passing match. We might not do it in the end but I guarantee it will take something even more special than what City has done in the past in order to overcome this. Certainly not out of the realm of possibility but at this point Gary Neville’s needs to stfu about Arsenal just handing the title away. Wonder what quotes we’ll get from his podcast after today…
MAW, LA obviously Gooner


Arsenal fans know how to behave
Thank you so, so much for explaining to Arsenal fans precisely how and when – and in what order – we should conduct ourselves vis-a-vis the current title race. Obviously, being a club that lacks the prestige of, let’s say, a Norwich, we would otherwise have had no collective idea what constitutes proper or acceptable behaviour in this regard.

Indeed, you are not alone. Many supporters of other teams – notably, teams not currently involved in a title race – have also offered their kind opinions on this subject (though taking the opposite viewpoint to yourself) and of course dear Mr. Keys has been most generous on the topic, dedicating much of his abundant leisure time to it.

Truth is, our club and her supporters know exactly how to behave; during title races, or (more importantly) in the local community during the day-to-day. We have more than sufficient ‘history’, and we really don’t need the guidance. We’re keeping our sh*t relatively together, but we still can’t wait to invite you all to a parade in June.


Just want to say that Jim from Norwich is 100% correct about us Arsenal fans. His  2 points up with goal difference in our favour is a scenario I’ve literally played out in my head multiple times with differing outcomes….

2nd Rami from Manchester is 100% incorrect about Tierney. He’s terrific. To say he hasn’t made an impact since 2019 means you didn’t watch Arsenal up until this year. Until Odegaard emerged, most Arsenal fans touted him as our future captain such was his quality. Him being dispensible is due to Zinchenko’s brilliance and Arteta’s system.

Finally a couple thoughts on the cups. I love the cups. I’ve written mailbox before about the cups. My joint-top fondest Arsenal memory to this day is winning the 1998 FA Cup (one of the first games I ever watched in its entirety on TV growing up in Canada). Say what you might, but whatever else transpires, Manchester United fans have something concrete to enjoy and look back on this season. Winning trophies is special. Think what it would have meant to Newcastle. Even me, enjoying Arsenal beat Everton midweek, was wishing we were still in the FA Cup (OK I’ll admit, it is part of my defence mechanism where I tell myself if we don’t win the league this year that if we can win something it will be OK….cmon Europa…..Jim really nailed it….).  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Give a Champions League place to the FA Cup winner (in the past 20 years only Wigan, Portsmouth and Arsenal have won the FA Cup and not finished top 4…so its not really that dramatic).
Steve (Gooner – Adelaide)
PS Writing this before any kickoffs this Saturday. The problem I’ve found with a title race is that its unrelenting. Games aren’t over and I’m already thinking about the next round of fixtures. I’ve signed off before saying enjoying it one game at a time…that gets harder each game