Date:Monday February 12 2007
In the wake of yesterday's home 2-1 win over the pie munchers, we are left with the fall out which is the discussion over time wasting.
After sifting through the papers at work this morning something became glaringly apparent; Small clubs are allowed to cheat when they play big teams.
We have all been party to the arguments between football fans with regards to 'Beauty vs The Beast' on the football pitch & while I'd prefer every team to attempt to play exciting and beautiful football, I can understand a team playing to it's strengths and playing a physical style over the aesthetically pleasing version of the game. However the advocation of time wasting by various publications is infuriating to say the least.
It seems as though a football club of the smaller variety is allowed certain concessions within the game to level the playing field.
Forget the fact that Arsene Wenger and Arsenal have worked long and hard to put the team in the fantastic position we now find ourselves in, most of the footballing world seems content to overlook these small yet annoying discrepancies in order to peg the more spectacular teams back a little.
Whether or not the decision to consistently let these clubs get away with time wasting and other such activities is a conscious one is open to discussion, but there is no denying that the gap between the top four and the rest of the league is large (everyone knows it) and (conspiracy alert) it would not surprise me one jot if the powers that be had sanctioned these decisions in order to bring the teams closer together and make their league more entertaining, and furthermore, more marketable.
However, there is no getting away from the fact that time wasting IS cheating and should be punished accordingly, a rule which was not observed yesterday until Jens Lehmann received a yellow card for his antics that were quite obviously a piss take rather than an attempt to gain an advantage.
The fact that six second half substitutions were made yesterday and only 3 minutes of injury time were played (the rule being an additional 30 seconds to be added per sub) suggests that Dowd was not following the laws of the game. Indeed having farcically booked Jens Lehmann for time wasting, he never actually repaid the clock.
As Mr Stillman correctly pointed out yesterday, football is an expensive hobby, and after forking out a small fortune for tickets, and indeed the scandalous amounts we are forced to pay for our Sky Sports subscriptions, we as fans should be entitled to get what we have paid for......football.
So before the red tops and their fellow morons jump on the 'Same old Arsenal' band wagon, they should seek to stop this cancer that taints our game, and cease penalising big clubs for being successful.
Date:Monday February 12 2007
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