Does Pulis have a point about Arsenal players and referees?

‘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?



  1. Gabie says:

    I am not feeling guilty of Pulis’s comments, He can go ahead a mourn the rest of his life, When he played Man city i was shocked when he said that they won’t loose anything even if they got beaten by man city but now he is crying for stupid thing for penalty where he never get it at the club for his dem life, Good arsenal beat them nicely and it should have more as he undermined them saying they will get result from arsenal after getting beaten by man city. His players are very rough they were all kicking Sanchesz like a balloon not a human being . Hope he leaned his lesson when we go to his home arsenal must still give them a good goals. We will see when will he end up crying and his excuses

  2. Turbo says:

    Isn’t this practically identical to another post just three or four earlier than this one? Perhaps the last paragraph is new? Or am I locked in a time loop? Anyhow, TP is wrong on both counts, as video replays quite clearly show, so there’s nothing to feel bad about, as if the team or its supporters could do much to influence the official’s decisions regardless.

  3. Turbo says:

    On closer scrutiny, there are some newer bits, including this: “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.”

    Must respectfully disagree on this point (but agree good on the player for keeping at it rather than just falling down and hoping for a call). When the player, albeit fouled, has a great open chance at goal it is reasonable to allow him to take the shot and consider that advantage. The foul/tackle did not prevent him from have a great scoring opportunity or scuff the shot or interfere with it. It was just a light touch by Cech that was enough to put it onto the post.

    How would TP feel if he had scored and the goal was disallowed because a penalty had been called, and the penalty was then missed? Or does he want a double dip “if he scores, no problem, if not, call the penalty.” Seems he wants to have a birthday party but also eat the whole cake.

  4. Sue says:

    If it had been the other way round he wouldn’t be moaning!
    Just go & con West Brom out of a few million (like you did Palace) that might cheer you up ?

  5. Roy says:

    WBA we’re lucky to still have 11 players on the pitch due to their consistent tackling from behind and Sanchez was denied a penalty having have his shirt pulled in the box.PL is a master of dark arts football so touph titty to him.

  6. Mike says:

    Although I would disagree with some things you say it is a fair article. Arsenal were undoubtedly the better side and we need decisions to go our way in these matches. We hope for gradual improvements so one day we play a better quality of football but we will never be up to the standards of the so called big clubs. Pulis first job is to keep us up & sometimes it ain’t pretty!

  7. tatgooner says:

    No matter how many reasons as arsenal fans we decide to make this was a plain straightforward stonewall. rock penalty any day any second any minute any hour. Sanchez shouldn’t have had a free kick .
    The referee was biased towards us and he gave us the win

    1. sanmi.marvellous says:

      Some seasons back at Stamford bridge, Theo Walcott was sandwiched and felled by 2 Chelsea players. Everyone believed it was a foul as it was actually. Just before the referee could make the decision, Walcott rose quickly with the ball within his legs, cut through Chelsea defence like a hot knife through butter, slid the ball past Petr Cech for a goal. Such situation is called allowing ball advantage.
      Westbrom’s Jay Rodriguez was in similar situation which gave referee no option than to allow ball advantage.

      Sometimes when we watch matches live, our emotions get better of us. Re-watch the match or highlights help. Try it again here:

  8. wba says:

    Fair points. As much as you lot hate our manager the point is there, we never get nothing from referees especially against the big teams. So many decisions at Monday night was a disgraceful performance from the ref. He bottled every single big decision, Bobby madley is no premier league referee. The absolute opposite of that nob Mike dean, not in a good way either. Too scared to call the big decisions and I mean that on both sides. He could have gave a few of our players second yellow cards but he bottled that too. Both teams shouldnt have to put up with that kind of officiating in the best league in the world. simple as. Pulis tell his players to be honest and not dive, hence why we havent had a pen in over a year. In regards to the rodrigez pen, he shouldnt have had a chance to get back on his feet the whistle should have went straight away. No signal to play on, the ref wasn’t going to give it anyway so that points irrelevant. crap refereeing.

  9. Don Bull says:

    That’s a good and fair post Bob, what I have come to expect from many Arsenal fans. I’m probably an old dinosaur but I will never agree with, ‘he felt contact, so he’s justified in going down.’ Let’s be honest, going down means diving if the contact isn’t enough to cause it. It’s a player’s job to stay on his feet and refs should make a judgement that if the contact isn’t sufficient he doesn’t blow. It’s easy to accept the minimal contact on Sanchez if you aren’t continually on the wrong end of these decisions. We are constantly against the so called “big six.” I believe refs are frightened of upsetting these clubs and losing the big games. Anyway like I said, very good piece you’ve written.

  10. chris says:

    No Pullis does not. The emirates has been a venue where too often referees set out to prove they are not homers. He does have a point that a club like West Brom. struggles to get key decisions against the fashionable top teams in general

  11. Damian says:

    Spot on, Sanchez was kicked at almost every time he had the ball, and then Pulis, moans about diving, he should watch Ashley Young to know what diving is all about. There are also two other instances we could have had penalties. What does he have to say about them ?

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