Arsenal fans throwing bottles at Man City players should be punished

Arsenal fans throwing bottles at Man City players should be punished by Dan Smith

I can understand the emotion straight after a game, especially if you have attended the match in person.

A day after though fans over a certain age should have the ability to judge events on merit.

Just because the big decisions went against us on Saturday doesn’t mean those decisions were wrong.

Xhaka didn’t have to pull Silva’s shirt, nor did he have to leave his leg dangling.

However popular Gabriel is, he didn’t have to mess with the penalty spot, and on a yellow card was silly to make the challenge he did.

Neither the award of the penalty or the red card was the most outrageous calls I have ever seen.

Even if we had been robbed, it doesn’t justify a section of our fanbase throwing objects at anyone.

Yet, having watched countless video and read several articles, very few have acknowledged those supporters were wrong to throw bottles and toilet rolls at Rodri.

I know countless YouTubers who to deflect from a result will talk about disgraceful behaviour from the crowd

I have long said Football faces a problem.

There are grown adults who think the sport gives you a licence to act however they want.

These are men and women who have full time jobs and families, where they wouldn’t dare deal with adversity in their daily lives by throwing a bottle at someone.

Yet in the confines of a stadium they think they are above the law.

I’m clearly a passionate gooner, but it would never dawn on me to throw something at another human being, no matter how disappointed I am.

We read about crowd trouble in countries like Italy and Greece and are quick to judge.

Yet when the UK has fans acting like animals it doesn’t get reported as heavily.

Either because we don’t want to admit there is a problem in this country, or worse, we are used to it.

Hopefully Arsenal will identify the cowards who threw the missiles and ban them for life.

We need to educate that next generation of fans that losing in the final seconds is not a reason to try and hurt someone.

I have long argued for zero tolerance towards this kind of behaviour.

If I made the laws, you would serve a prison sentence.

If that’s harsh, then you should have the maturity to be able to attend a fixture being able to deal with the emotion of a live football match.


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Tags Arsenal v Manchester City


    1. In one of our matches which we won of course, Arsenal players were stopped by the ref to celebrate in the opposition fans section. While not supporting throwing things, I don’t blame our fans because they acted out of impulse. Not only were those ManCity players celebrating in our fans’ section, they teased our fans too. Even Rodri pulled his jersey in front of them – that’s sexual harassment.

      1. I could understand them, because I was also disappointed with the awful officiation. But they shouldn’t throw things next time

  1. It has to be said Rodri antagonised the situation sliding into the arsenal end
    Screaming and shirtless.
    In the 93rd minute of a match where we have been cheated by a referee.
    I think Rodri should get a ban.
    Had it been white Hart lane
    Elland road turf moor or somewhere like that it would have been a lot worse than toilet paper.
    I could genuinely see somebody running on decking him and although I don’t condone violence I’d say he deserved it for being so stupid.

    1. Remember Leeds game? We scored thr 2nd goal and celebrated it in front of Leeds fans, but the boys made no contact with the Leeds fans to antagonize them. The ref still came to clear our players out of that corner.

  2. I don’t know the reason behind such oafish and disgusting behaviour. I would like to point out though, that rugby doesn’t have this problem and suggest that the players respect the authority of the referee and maybe this spills over to the supporters. Players haranguing the ref only serves to inflame certain sections of these so called supporters.

    It doesn’t help that decision making at times by weak refereeing and VAR not being correctly used does incite the crowd. There is so much at stake in staying in the Premier league and competing for the top4 that sense goes out of the window, but anti social behaviour should bring about a ban.
    As for bringing back alcohol consumption on the terraces…..

    1. Harranguing the ref is what Man City players and those of other big clubs regularly do even when there’s no injustice done to them. Refs are humans and they get pressured by that. In fact I think the Arsenal players are very gentle with refs. I would’ve wished they (a big gang of them) surrounded and cornered the ref after Ødegård got penalised by Ederson. May be it would’ve made him go and take a look at the VAR monitor or reconsidered the stupid, biased decisions later on.

  3. The Arsenal fan respnse was very mild indeed.
    Rodri incited the crowd and a few empty plastic drink bottles floated down on to the pitch. Compared to the filthy old stadiums still in use in the 70’s and 80’s football today is played in vertable palaces. The animal behavior of the late 1970’s early 1980’s has been replaced by the gentrified digital generation who by comparison are meek and timid angles.

  4. Cannot do anything but agree, but I also think that Rodri should also be punished. He could have turned left and celebrated in front of the City fans but he chose to turn right and antagonise the home fans. Players must be held responsible for behaviour likely to incite unrest.

    1. Thierry Henry was famous for celebrating in front of opposition fans
      Did he deserve a bottle thrown at him.

      1. Yes…

        When Adebayo did his infamous celebration and got bottles thrown at him from the Fans, not many complained… what is the difference here?

  5. Indeed. I feel that any Arsenal player behaving in the same way at any opponents ground, would have been treated extremely different. Also, there would be hardly a mention about any crowd behaviour, more like ” they were incited”. That said, professional players really do have to take more responsibility!

  6. Agreed, Dan. I was sat in that corner (the family section of all places!!!) watching KDB clearing all the debris only to be pelted by more! Appalling behaviour..
    I know emotions run high, but come on! It was bad enough sitting next to some bloke who kept hurling obscenities [every other word was the ‘C’ word] at the ref/City players with my 15 yr old son and a lot younger nearby; absolutely disgusting behaviour from some of our fanbase. People like that ruin it for the majority…

  7. I’m going to chip in here with a controversial comment.

    If I play Sunday league or any other sport, and opponent score and celebrate, I dont mind at all.

    If the opponent scorer targets me and comes an inch away in front of my face to celebrate, I will resort to physicality. I think its a natural reaction. I dont mean punching him but shove him away or similar.

    Rodri scored, thats okay. He celebrates, thats okay too. But he made it in a way clearly to agonize the fans, really rub it in their faces. This will cause a reaction in people.

    You can’t expect to get in on somebodys face solely to provoke and get away without any reaction.

    1. Couldn’t agree more. Let’s not condemn oafish behaviour without criticising Rodri and his team-mates provocative antics. Just celebrate your good fortune in front of your own fans. City have a history here. Remember Adebayor?

  8. I’m not saying Rhodri’s actions were acceptable, but after hearing the abuse aimed at him and his team-mates all afternoon, I can’t say I’m surprised!
    Haven’t we celebrated goals like that before??

    1. Sue, your first hand account of the incident, before and after, sums it up perfectly zero excuse for thuggish behaviour. I only saw the incident on TV and that was bad enough – embarrassing!! Sorry you and your son had to put up with that.

  9. The fans should be punished simply with a 1 match ban for their actions. But so should Rhodri and the Referee for creating the situation. Rodri had 2 options, his fans to the left and the Arsenal support to his right. He chose to antagonise the home support. Knowing full well they would react the way they did. City have got away with one thanks to the ref and not for the first time this season. The referees should also be held accountable for causing these situations

  10. Shouldn’t the player also get some sort of punishment / fine. I didnt see any bottles get thrown until after Rodi started screaming at the home crowd….?

  11. Let’s have a bit of context here, throwing missiles in a football stadium is unacceptable. However, City fans filled bottles with piss and threw them into club level. This is a football problem, not an Arsenal one.

  12. City fan… Rodri’s actions were not great but I’m not sure why fans of any club including my own feel it’s ok to verbally abuse players with some of the most disgusting language available and expect said players who are human beings not to react in some way. One person in these comments said someone celebrating a goal in front of him would provoke him to get physical. What would you do if people were shouting obscenities at you, insulting your family..etc. a Brentford fan is under investigation for homophobic abuse directed at a city player. Abuse is not acceptable in any situation.

    1. Exactly, Darren 👍👍👍It’s disgraceful; the ugly side of football I don’t wish to be a part of.

      1. Sue, your first hand account of the incident, before and after, sums it up perfectly zero excuse for thuggish behaviour. I only saw the incident on TV and that was bad enough – embarrassing!! Sorry you and your son had to put up with that.

    2. I am not sure if you were there, Rodri scored at the end where his fans were, he could have gone over to them or towards the Arsenal fans. He chose the latter, hence the barrage of missiles. Whilst it’s not acceptable behaviour from Gooners, footballers shouldn’t goad them either especially when a game is settled in injury time. The responsibility lies in all quarters.

      1. I was and as I say it wasn’t great from Rodri. You have missed the point I was making though. Do you feel it is acceptable to shout abuse at another human being? Do you think it’s ok to call him all the horrid names you can muster? In any other environment that behaviour would be deemed unacceptable but in a football stadium somehow it’s deemed acceptable. Beggars belief! Rodri is studying for a degree at Manchester university, he’s a smart guy who clearly lost his head because of the constant abuse. I’m not aiming this at just arsenal fans. As I said only a few days earlier a Brentford fan was reported for homophonic abuse directed at a city player. This is a much broader problem that exists within all club fan bases. Families taking kids to games have to accept this and therefore the cycle continues as those kids learn that it’s acceptable. It’s just very sad!

        1. Football grounds are bear pits, put a large number of fans together and when one or a group behave in a certain way so does everyone else. If everyone was rational about what they said or did in a Football ground, there would be no atmosphere. Not saying its acceptable, just the way things are. The thing that makes me laugh is people call the Emirates a library and yet I have seen over the top celebrations aimed at Arsenal fans, because one player is targetted, same thing happened to Eric Dier a few years back. That to me suggests the atmosphere at the Emirates is intimidating.

  13. Dan I won’t blame you for your perception about the whole situation but how I wish you try to sympathise with arsenal fan base who had witnessed a broad day robbery by the referee and had remained calm for full time. Rodri’ actions after scoring were really provoking and adding salt into the wound. May be their reaction was an called for but they had to send a message and trust me, had it been a match in our local setting man trust me Rodri and the Referee would have gotten it worse.
    The problem was the referee and his poor decisions and Rodri’ provoking actions after scoring.

  14. As a City fan who wasn’t there, I was surprised Rhodri celebrated in front of Arsenal fans rather than our travelling support? Injury time winner away, its the drama you share with your own fans. Arsenal played brilliantly on Saturday and were unlucky, not robbed by VAR. As for the bottles thrown, we’re just finally getting back to safe standing, this after a pandemic and empty stadiums, so unfortunate we have idiots who ruin it for everyone else. Good luck for the rest of the season and Top Four!!

  15. At least fans reacted with dignity. What do u expect? Claps from fans or let d dirty dogs celebrate in front of us? This is football not gimnastics. We F… Em all…

  16. There was a moment in yesterday’s game at Stamford Bridge where a Liverpool player was about to take a corner and was being berated by a kid who looked about 14. Really made me sad. But when the adults in the room are throwing around the C-word in the family section as Sue experienced, and throwing plastic bottles around, is it any wonder.

  17. Given the reactions and counter reactions of both sets of players and fans. I really don’t see the need of this article and it’s supposed righteous indignation.

    Talking about prison sentences or any other form of extensive penal actions is nothing more than the rantings of a sycophant. Having seen some of the article writers previous offers to the forum in which some of the wider aspects of social life are discussed, I don’t think it’s healthy to overly conflate it with sport which you hope would be free from those more political and socially created constructs of general life.

    We all saw what went on during the game. We don’t need to take the game into the wider arena and start imposing those elements of society’s general control values. Football has long been a sport whereby fans and players have been a bit over exhuberant in their celebrations or protestations. Okay, sometimes things Gona bit OTT from both factions but this shouldn’t be reason to start to ‘legislate’ and impose reasoning and penalties where they aren’t really needed. Especially if from people that clearly show they are not in a position to make such decisions.

    Let’s keep sport free from despotism!

    1. What are you talking about ?
      Throwing a bottle at someone is a criminal offence
      You can’t just ignore that because it’s a football match

      1. I’m not opposed to outlawing criminal offences. But to keep harping on about wider issues of society. Reminding us of how sensitive we should be to issues beyond our control is insincere. I know there’s all manner of injustice inside and outside of sport but we don’t have to be everymen and incorporate that into football in attempts to be an ‘everyman’

        1. Throwing a bottle is not out of someones control
          You simply dont do it and if you do there will be consequences

    2. Lt Dan. How wrong can you be! To “hope” that sport will be free from the criminal actions that affect wider society is to be away with the fairies and afraid of facing up to the awful reality. I am NOT by nature an interventionist and I am, by nature and instinct, a true liberal.

      But I must, for your sake, define what TRUE liberalism really is . It is NOT a let any thuggish behavour go and excuse it as imposing legislation philosophy. It is INSTEAD a true intention to get as much freedom for the great majority of good and sensible people from the harm done by the foolish and sometimes criminal minority.

      THAT, my muddled thinking friend, is how you get better behaviour and NOT by burying your head in the sand and merely “hoping”the idiots and fools will behave.
      So often they have sadly proven they cannot and will not. It is foolish to defy lifes reality and excuse it, simply because it is sport and because sport brings passion.

      You own muddled thinking has led to a game where cheating, gamesmanship and zero respect for authority of the officials is rife. It is an unhealthy and corrupt environment in which a simple wonderful and exciting Prem comp is expected to thrive.

      But it leads to more and more bad behaviour; from some foolish fans , from players who cheat and from excuse making fans like you. All forms of civilised life need some form of control and for that control to be respected , or else you end up with chaos.

      The rule of law is not an illiberal concept but a freeing and liberal one for all. All that is, save the wrong doers who refuse to learn better.

      We do not need wrong thinking posts like yours and would would be well advised IMO to completely rethink your whole attitude to how modern life – of which Prem football is merely a fascinating part – but is NOT separate from all the other laws, by which ALL civilised people need to live , for the health, contentment and safety of our fellow humans, as well as ourselves!
      Living within sensible and moderate bounds is NOT “despotism” !



      1. Despotism is very much existent in GT Britain and much of Europe. It’s just hidden under the guise of political expediency and other forms in order to be accommodated.

        Anyway, my point was that. Why should we be discussing the rights and wrongs, the general failings of society on a football fanzine, when it should be about fun and enjoyment, warts and all, away from from the insincere prescriptions of what’s considered normal life

        1. Lt Dan, given your ludicrous views, I will no longer bother debating with you. I prefer debatingwith fans who can and more importantly, WANT to think, TBH!

          1. I don’t care if you wish to debate or not. I don’t hold in any such regard and not looking for any endorsement from you or your ilk. You, like many hold yourself in such high regard on here. But let’s be real…….this is just a two Bob fans forum and no one on here should think that they are so enlightened that they are an authority on on anything be that arsenal or the world in general!

  18. Rodri asked for it and got it. I am sure he knew exactly what he was doing, adding salt into the Gooner’s wounds especially after a badly officiated game.

    On Talk Sport today, a key topic of conversation was DANNY MURPHY arguing that Rodri had a perfect right in the heat of battle to inflame our fans by taking off his shirt and celebrating openly in front of THEM, and not his own fans. Jim White and Simon Jordan forcefully disagreed with Murphy, who claimed emotions run high in the heat of battle – as indeed they do .

    BUT there can be NO excuse for open provocation. Equally there can be NO excuse for acting as animals, as SOME ( and it is always only SOME)of our fans did.

    I have been saying for decades that the only way to finally stop hooliganism is for extremely draconian punishments for all identified and convicted proven louts, involving several months mandatory prison sentences.

    This would stop almost all of it but the weak willed PARLIAMENTARY authorities will not introduce it.

    Equally, the same principle of draconian punishment would stop diving cheats. I have long argued for a mandatory red card, plus an automatic 6 game Prem ban and doubled if repeated to 12 games and doubled again to 24, if necessary.
    Together with a very sizeable fine for the guilty player and a total loss of wages while banned , which would mean redrawing contracts for all players, backed up by FIFA(WHO WOULD CHICKEN OUT OF COURSE!) this would cure well over 90% of all diving.

    Proper deterrents WORK, but our society is too illiberal, (while falsely claiming to be liberal) to protect our innocent people from wilful wrongdoers.

    It is a scandal that nothing is done. I detest those who falsely claim to be liberal but who are the precise opposite in practise!

  20. I feel throwing bottles were reaction given on Rodri’s celebration after goal..
    He literally mock Arsenal Fans and that’s why that was furious reaction from fans

      1. Great article Dan.

        One of the best I have read in this site.

        Takes guts to call out our own fan’s behaviour.

        I agree with you completely with a prison sentence and I do not think it is harsh.

        Human responsibilities do not end for a better society.

    1. He was kicking our players through out the game and did not even get a booking. Made matters worse by celebrating in front of the the home fans. So deserves outrighly a taste of his medicine. I commend those fans for humbling the arrogant chap.

  21. Of course the bottle throwers should be dealt with, but so should another troublemaker. What is needed is referee Stuart Attwell to be punished. Either through bias, incompetence, or a brown paper bag, Attwell was determined that Arsenal were not going to win. The minimum is his bias and incompetence. That is undeniable and seen by all. He should be immediately suspended.

  22. Worst display of officiating I have seen in 60 years.
    Rodri allowed foul after foul and not booked.
    Gabriel was foolish but even Clattenburg said foul but not yellow card.
    So unjust.
    We were so good.
    Thomas Partey.

    1. If you have been watching for 60 years then I think you forgot about Mike Riley’s performance at Old Trafford to end the Invincible’s run.

      Much worse- Neville, Ferdinand AND Van Nistelrooy all should have had red cards. And dont forget about Rooney’s dive. Still hurts. I wonder if VAR would have made a difference.

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