Morning folks, we all good?

I’m sure you’re all still feeling the glow following the last minute winner against Villa, which is more than can be said for some of the ‘pundits’ out there that appear to be rattled.

Honestly, I do find it a little weird how triggered people get by Arsenal. is it because we’ve – with all to respect to our team – come from nowhere this season to be in a title race? After all, there’s a lot of egg on faces right now after predictions of Man City or Liverpool winning the title, maybe an outside bet on the Scum or Chelsea, yet it has been – up until now (so I don’t jinx it. I’m also touching wood too as I type this) – an Arsenal challenge to what everyone still feels is the inevitable City victory for the title. You’d think that after four out of five years of seeing the financially doped, Arab state-owned, cheaters, people might see it as refreshing that a team can come from seemingly towards the back of the pack to at least mount a challenge.

But no, Arsenal the upstarts, and the likes of Collymore and Agbonlahor, are rattled. To be fair to them both they are Villa fans and probably still smarting from being on the receiving end of a last minute winner(s). But I saw what Agbonlahor said about Martinelli’s goal and ‘disrespect’. Come on now, how is that disrespect? To celebrate a goal to secure three points for your team when ten minutes earlier the obituary was being written about your title campaign? Give over.

Then we’ve had Stan ‘The Chelsea Project is bigger than Arsenal’ Collymore having a pop at Arteta’s “antics”, claiming that referees are not getting in to the game because of people like Arteta ‘mocking’ them on the sideline, which really is one heck of a mental take I have to say.

Firstly, this is elite sport, which means there is a fair bit on the line and emotions will run high. So, Stan, are we to cut all emotions from the game? “You can have emotions without abusing referees” I’m sure he would say, but you cannot just switch emotions on and off, I’m afraid. “They give more respect in rugby” he might argue. Indeed they do, but have you ever been to a rugby game? There isn’t the same level of passion, of tribalism, of raw emotion that you get in football. Of course I am biased as I prefer football to rugby, but i’ve been to a Six Nations game and I can tell you this, it isn’t the same as Premier League football. It just isn’t.

But why are we talking about this now, Stanley? Is it just a recent phenomenon? Must be. Because we are struggling to recruit referees because of it, whereas 10 years ago we weren’t having this problem, were we? Oh, no, wait a second….Mourinho, Ferguson, Clough, Neil Warnock….All of these guys were so definitely placid. No, you’re right Stan, it’s definitely Arteta though. Definitely.

Not this guy, for example….

No, definitely Arteta, he’s the reason that no referee wants to get work in the Premier League.

It’s also definitely NOT the fact that the PGMOL has been an old boys network, a closed shop for a select few coming from the north west, where there has been little interest in developing a programme to build a pipeline of referees from throughout the country that is representative of regions, races, gender, etc. No, it’s most definitely the likes of Arteta sarcastically rolling his hands when a pedantic referee calls back an action after Arsenal had restarted.

And how dare Arteta have any kind of disappointment in a decision, eh? After all, he and his team have been on the receiving end of all of the generous decisions this season. They certainly HAVE NOT had multiple instances when the PGMOL has had to apologise to them for getting wrong decisions. No, that DEFINITELY HASN’T happened once this season. Yes Stan, you’re right, Arteta should sit on his hands, show referees and the refereeing body total respect, and if for some reason they make a mistake and it costs Arsenal points in a season in which they are properly competing for a title for the first time IN DECADES, the Arsenal manager should definitely just sit on his hands and accept it.

And while we’re at it, why don’t we throw an FA charge at him for being outside of his technical area, as I know it’d make that man in Qatar – Big Rich – very happy. Because two weeks ago Sean Dyche stayed entirely in his area. Klopp has never ventured outside it, nor Guardiola, or Conte. No, it’s DEFINITELY Arteta who is the problem.

Apologies for the lashings and lashings of sarcasm in today’s post, but I am finding it truly staggering as to how there seems to be a concerted effort to find fault in Arsenal this season. Even at the weekend the focus on the celebrations has turned to the Arsenal analyst team for ‘over celebrating’, which the Villa analysts didn’t like apparently. I’ve just watched a video took of the incident. Looks like it’s angry Villa analysts rather than Arsenal ones. Surely they can’t expect the Arsenal analysts not to celebrate when their team scores, can they?

Who knows. I’m sure the Celebration Police have something to say about it. I’m sure there will be a fine of some sort for us. It almost seems par for the course these days. On Wednesday night last week Man City players surrounded the referee after he gave our penalty. Will there be any kind of accusation of ‘failing to control your players’ labelled at City.

Doubtful. They don’t play in red and white.

That’s me done for today. Haven’t had a ranty blog for a while and it kind of felt good. Putting the world to rights and all that jazz.

Anyway – have a good one and I’ll catch you all tomorrow.