Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Johnson escapes ban for Chamakh elbow, Mannone's loan move good for Szczesny contract negotiations

Morning Gooners.

We'll start with the continued fall-out from the Birmingham game at the weekend.

The Sun are reporting that Birmingham defender Roger Johnson will not be punished for his elbow led charge at Marouane Chamakh's face  just before half time of Saturday's match.

They report referee Martin Atkinson saw nothing wrong with the challenge.

Now this is where the FA need to get their house in order. I've watched this incident several times, from different angles, and can honestly say that the player had eyes for injuring our striker first and then getting the ball.

He clearly wanted to make contact with Chamakh's head. The way he swings out his elbow as he leaps and is in line with the Moroccan's head to me tells you all you need to know.

Maybe he wanted some sort of retribution for the perceived injustice of Arsenal being awarded a penalty. We all know the Birmingham players were chasing the referee around the pitch at any slight incident.

Now why the FA can't charge Birmingham with failing to control their players is beyond me. When you have a goal keeper in Ben Foster running from his goal to the half way line to try and influence the referee to send of Samir Nasri and remonstrate with the official, it clearly shows their is indiscipline in Alex McLeish's players.

I thought the Premier League was trying to get away from the images of players surrounding referees?

And for Atkinson to deem Johnson's challenge fair, is just farcical. It just goes to show he is probably the worst referee in the league. And that's going some.

As an aside, Mark Clattenburg will be in charge of our game with Manchester City on Sunday, despite his poor showing in last season's fixture. He obviously missed Emmanuel Adebayor's stamp on Robin van Persie. How can an official so woeful be again chosen to officiate the same fixture a year on despite his obvious failings?

The FA need to get their house in order. How can they be beyond reproach when these sorts of decisions are made.

We should move to a disciplinary system like rugby when you can cite incidents missed by a referee for judgement by a panel who will look over the television replays.

It's not acceptable for a referee to just write of an obvious contentious incident just because they believed they got the decision right in the first place. We are all humans and make mistakes. But when there is a chance to remedy the situation using technology, why not take it?

The other main story not related to tonight's game is Vito Mannone's move to Hull City on loan.

He will move to the Championship club for an initial 11 week period until January 3. Then the loan could be extended.

This is a very good decision by Arsene Wenger in my opinion. 

Those regular readers of the blog will know of the public outbursts of both Mannone and Szczesny about the current situation.

They both want playing time. Mannone has a contract until 2014, whilst the young Pole's deal runs out at the end of the season.

So sending Mannone on loan helps Arsene Wenger show Szczesny that his route to the first team goal keeping spot is not being blocked with us having too many players in front of him.

It also allows Mannone to gain experience which he's not getting at Arsenal, which will become useful next season should both Manuel Almunia and Szczesny decide to leave.

My hope is that Szczesny signs a new deal with Arsenal because of this. And Mannone has done nothing wrong. It will be good for him to get some more first team football under his belt. 

It will certainly give Arsene Wenger something to think about at the end of the season. Lets hope he doesn't fudge the issue again.

I'll have a Shakhtar Donetsk preview for you at lunchtime.

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