‘Oh we do like to moan beside the Emirates’ should perhaps be the theme tune of Tony Pulis, who has not only lost every time he has come to play Arsenal with his current club West Bromwich Albion, but in all of the games when he was the boss at Stoke City as well, making 10 Premier League games and a cup loss for the Welsh manager at the home of the mighty Gunners.
Can we play you every week might well be what the Arsenal fans are thinking about Pulis, and there is certainly an element of frustration to his thoughts and feelings after his latest trip to north London, understandably so with such a rotten record.
On the other hand, does he have a point with his complaints to Sky Sports about the referee and his assistants being too hard on his own hard working and honest players while some Arsenal stars, in particular our striker Alexis Sanchez, got away with blatant cheating?
Pulis said, “I think everybody has seen what’s happened today. I think if you want to make an example of something, Sanchez actually dives on the edge of the box for the first free-kick. And he should be booked for diving there, in my opinion.
“Then you see the tackle in the box on Jay, the referee’s got a great view, it’s a stonewall penalty. The great thing is everybody has seen it, so they make their decisions. I don’t have to talk about it and I don’t want to talk about it.
“It’s not only a foul, the player could be sent off as well,” added Pulis, though current rules mean the triple punishment of such an incident no longer exists. “So it could be a penalty and playing against 10 men.
“Jake [Livermore] should score the rebound and we should score other goals, we had opportunities. The disappointing thing tonight is Sanchez dives for the first free-kick, not the one they score off, and he should be booked. That’s cheating.
“Jay is honest, and doesn’t get his reward for being honest. We haven’t had a penalty at this football club for over a year. And none of my players are told to roll around.
“The public out there, and everybody in the studio would have seen the referee’s performance, so let them decide what they think. They won’t get fined for that.”
Alright Tony. Unlike Wenger I am not going to say the ref’s decision on their penalty was right. He should have given it and officials should be more willing to reward honest players but that does not seem to be the way they work. For years I have thought that Arsenal and even more so the England national team, need to be cuter in these situations. If you can’t beat them join them.
On Alexis I think Pulis is out of order because it was not really a dive but just minimal contact. We see that and much worse every week so to call for a booking for the Arsenal striker was over the top. Sanchez is a player who gets kicked a lot and these players do tend to make sure they get free kicks, is that wrong?
Pulis sides push the boundaries in other ways, like their physicality and the holding in the box that we saw again last night but did not get a penalty for. Finally I would point out that other clubs like Chelsea and Man United are much more guilty for what we might call cheating, so I am not going to feel bad for Pulis about Arsenal, especially as he was in charge of Stoke when they rightfully earned the tag of being a rugby team, are you?