The Appeal. The Analysis. The Rejection. The Ban.

Yesterday the club announced that it had lodged an appeal against the sending off at West Ham, based on a case of wrongful dismissal…

“The FA has received a claim for wrongful dismissal from Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen. Vermaelen was shown a red card for denying  an obvious goalscoring opportunity during Arsenal’s match against West Ham United on Saturday 20 March. A Regulatory Commission will hear the claim on Tuesday 23 March.”

Personally, as soon as I heard about this news, I was pretty delighted. I mean, I thought it was very harsh and couldn’t believe it at the time. From the replays, my judgement of it’s harshness only increased. Tommy V hardly did anything to the player – who went down like a pack of spuds and the referee bought it. Now, to the letter of the law, such as infringement is a red card offence – whether or not it is the right rule or not – at the moment it’s the rule.

I thought “a red card and a penalty” for that touch is absurd… but the letters of the law suggest that the referee made the correct decision by the absolute laws. How many times do we see such an offence go unpunished? The memories of Kuyt’s drag down of Alex Hleb in the Champions League all those years ago spring back to mind. In my eyes, the club had to appeal it.

So they did and the FA said no…

“At a Regulatory Commission hearing today, a claim for wrongful dismissal from Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen was dismissed.

“Vermaelen was shown a red card for denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity during Arsenal’s match against West Ham United on Saturday 20 March.”He will now serve a one match
suspension with immediate effect.”

Now, looking at the next couple of games, without Gallas out, it would make sense for Arsene to look at the Barcelona game and think, “if Gallas is the only player out, I would really like Campbell and Vermaelen at the back”… and that’s what I think Arsene did – so based on that decision and the assumption that Campbell can’t play two games in a week, this weekend Campbell can’t play.

Now that is where it becomes tricky – if the ban was successful, then this weekend, we could rest Campbell knowing that a combination of Silvestre and Vermaelen or even Alex Song and Vermaelen could do a job. But with Vermaelen banned for this weekend’s trip to Birmingham, it leaves Arsene with an option to either field Campbell and Silvestre or Campbell or Song. But if he did that, then could Campbell play next Wednesday against Barcelona? I doubt it… which means both Vermaelen and Campbell out for this weekend’s game.

So it comes down to the priorities… if the premiership is more important, I’d expect to see Campbell play this weekend, if the Champions League is more important that we’ll see Silvestre.

Remember, we don’t have Gallas or Vermaelen this weekend, so we have to play two of three – Silvestre, Campbell or Song. If we play Campbell this weekend, then we can’t play him against Barcelona. Interesting. So, will we see Song and Silvestre this weekend? Campbell and Vermaelen mid-week, Silvestre and Vermaelen next weekend and Campbell and Vermaelen the following mid-week home leg against Barcelona? Damn, it’s confusing, but having both Vermaelen and Gallas out this Saturday certainly doesn’t help!

Now just imagine if we had Djourou available…

  • JDD

    the fa can fuck off.vermalen serves a 1 match ban for a nothing tackle yet gerrad gets nothing for smashing someone in the back off their head.this shows they are biast cunts

  • Nick

    Further proof of what a joke the FA is. If you’re an English National team player your all but shoot someone one the pitch and get away with it. If you’re a foreign player, and more importantly you’re an Arsenal player prepare for some unfair treatment from the officials.

    Gerrard must love his golden boy status.

  • http://worldofarsenal John

    Play Campbell, Song against Birmingham with Denilson and Diaby in Midfield. Then play Song and Vermaelen against Braca also with Denilson and Diaby in Midfield.

  • goonerman

    im not saying the champions league is more important that the premier league but i think we have to look at the two teams we are playing!

    Birmingham- Very good in defence and normally very hard to break down with a goal or 2 maybe likely to seperate us and them if we were to win because it is pretty unlikely to be hitting birmingham for 6 at home, on the other hand they are not the most prolific scoreres with most of their matches beign won by a single goal!

    Barcelona- Messi,Henry,Ibrahimovic and Pedro, we are likely to face 3 of them next wednesday night with messi in his best form this seasona. they can pretty much embaress and put a few goals past most teams.

    i know all that is obvious but i think id rather see silvestre and song go against birmingham and save campbell for the barca game NOT becuase of the importance but just because i think birmingham is a game silvestre and song are more likely to do ok in!


  • kodjo

    The stupidity and sheer incompetence of this FA is staggering. I guess they do not have the balls to own up to their inconsistencies and bias. They have the nerve and are shameless to say that TV denied Franco a goal scoring opportunity when the evidence suggests otherwise.

    Why was Franco not booked for urging the ref to show a card to TV?

    I just hope Wenger finds a solution to the defensive pairing for the next couple of games and the players just knuckle down as well. It’s clear that no one does arsenal any favours.

    Maybe time to pair Denilson & Diaby in the defensive midfiled position…my only fear is how they will cope with the likes of Bowyer, McFadden & Co who will no doubt bite, hurry and hussle….

    Also, the english gurus on our board should be making a lot of noise about general officiating as this is what it has come down to.

  • Kuka

    Someone needs to get Gallas fit. I have no idea how. Campbell has to play, am really sorry, but that is what playing for Arsenal means. This is the time when players play through the pain (am sorry it’s just emotional).

    To be honest, I didn’t think the FA would overturn the red. On a positive note, Verm gets a much needed rest. Throw in Campbell and Song. Throw in Diaby, Denilson and Ebue in midfield. Rest Campbell for the Wolves game, get him
    ready to pair Verm against Barca. Alternatively get Gallas fit. Am quite serious.

  • kodjo


    I’m not sure and comfortable about the Song-Silvestre combination just bcos both of them do not have pace….which i fear they will be exposed by the movement of Chucho & Jerome.

    Wenger could counter this by instructing Denilson or Diaby to stay further back and help out…and the entire team playing possession football. Maybe a 4-5-1 formation will do the job…just to crowd out the midfield areas and cut out supplies to the B’ham front men….yet i have seen Jerome drop to the left midfield area in games where B’ham struggle for possession for the extra man.

    In reality, with Barca in mind and Sol’s fitness in question we do not really have any options other than playing Song & Silvestre…if the premium is on the Barca game.

  • vj

    i kinda agree with you goonerman but we also have to look at the fact that the premier league is far more realistic. we have seen campbell make a lot of last ditch tackles that i doubt silvestre or song would have made them. With us only 2 off man u and 1 behind chelsea (assuming they beat pompey tonight) we cant afford any scrufy defending. Coming back late against birmingham away isnt going to be easy if we are behind. Champions league is a bit of a fantasy i think. Even if we kick out the spanish aces, we will probably still have to beat inter and man u so i think we should concentrate on the league.

  • vj

    but god i wish we had gallas or djourou fit. Imagine without campbell we might have had to play kyle bartley!!!!

  • Kuka

    Someone recall Senderos…..Hahahaha (just checking). I wonder how is doing though at Everton

  • Josiah

    song and silvest for birmz grit and bare the lack of pace, i think we can do it.

  • kodjo


    get set for some kamikaze defending…ha ha ha i think this defensive pairing will not be lost on McLeish…he’ll undoubtedly tell his guys to go for it… and i’m sure arsenal old boy seb larsson will be raring to have a go at his former employer…. clichy will have to tighten up on that side of the field!!!

    which brings me to arshavin …this guys is brilliant! but his attitude sometimes leaves much to be desired! he is weirdo that one! one min brilliant, the next min appears uninterested in the game resulting in undue pressure on clichy.

    if we can steady the ship for the first 15 mins we should be o.k

  • Josiah

    yeah i really think we ought to go out and just outplay them

  • JDD

    againts birmingham-

    clichy song sagna eboue
    denilson diaby fabregas
    walcott bendtner nasri

    against barca-

    clichy vermaelen campbell sagna
    diaby song
    arshavin bendtner nasri

  • goonerman

    The FA have just done us no favours lol, i know the champions league is a harder prospect than the league but to play silvestre against barcelona is actually scary! I know people want campbell to play a couple of games in a week but i really dont think he can handle that! sagna is a possibility at cb but it is pretty unlikely as he hasnt played there this season.

    song and silvestre is the best solution for a bad bad problem with denilson literally being ordered to sit in front of the two and not move to give the best cover possible becuase i think we have enough in attack to sacrafice denilson to defensive duties! this is when the boys have to show some true grit.

  • Berth

    its simple. Pair sagna and campbell in defence and retain song in midfield.You guys re forgetting that fergie mentored mcleish, so he is one of his boys and must show loyalty just like sam did to chelsea …. Just joking mates

  • JAT

    The Premier League would be a better trophy to win I reckon. If AW played Silvestre and Song against Brum and we dropped points resulting in us not winning the league, and we don’t win the UCL thereafter (which, looking at the probable games, is much harder to win in my opinion) then the sh1t would well and truly hit the fan. The league has got to be our priority. Brum are a decent side atm and we need to field our strongest team to beat them. For me it’s a no-brainer. Song and Sol to play Birmingham, Sol to spend the following 3 days in a spa getting massaged and pampered, hoping he can recover in time. Remember we can play Vermaelen and Song at the back against Barca if need be. Denilson, Cesc and Diaby wouldn’t be such a terrible central midfield vs Barca either.

  • yemi

    we have one right back to spare btw ebuoe and sagna. song can sit in front of them. i.e sagna or ebuoe/silvestre

  • Berth

    silvestre cant play away from home if he does we loose or draw a game. He is better off playing lesser teams at home.

  • ny

    Wenger hinted that Campbell will be rested for Birmingham game.So it will be Song and Silvestre.Campbell and Vermalean for Barca.

    But seeing recent performances of Campbell I prefer Silvestre.Because unlike premiership teams strength is not an important factor against Barca.Their strength is trickery.Only Gallas and Vemalean can deal with it.

    Also Wenger will defenitely start Arshavin against Barca.We paly him because we expect some occasional brillaince from him.But for most part of the game we are playing with 10 men when he is in team.

  • Nick

    Has anyone else heard Arshavin’s latest rant about needing more star players to win the title? WTF is his problem?

  • Yemi

    @nick: What i heard from arshavin is that he knows he is not consistent and cannot be rated amongst the best like torres, rooney or cesc. But he knows he would improve on his consistency.

  • Nick

    @ Yemi: The quotes
    “I am still of the opinion that to win trophies Arsenal needs more players,” Arshavin is quoted as saying in the Sun. “There is the simple fact that last summer we sold two players and bought only one. So there is an obvious deficit of at least one. Then we lost Van Persie, Gibbs and Ramsey for a long time. So for me it is natural we need new players.

    “Without the variety of players we have less diversity in attack. That allows our opponents to read our combinations more easily. Finally, it results in less ball possession for us and our defence comes under more pressure.

    “The Premier League is very interesting, at least as long as we continue fighting to win it. But without new experienced players, real stars, it will be difficult to achieve success. Ideally we need three or four such experienced players and then among our youths there should be guys who are not only good at playing football but have real character.”

  • devday

    @ Nick:
    Strange comments from Arshavin – maybe he is trying to get the rest of the team to prove him wrong!

  • Sam

    I have no doubt managers instruct certain players to say some of their stuff, so maybe sometimes AW uses Arsh to give a kick to other players’ behind.

  • Yemi

    @ Nick:
    I also hope he has not been misquoted by the sun

  • Yemi

    @ devday:
    Nice new additional tools to the web site dev, keep it up.
    A quick one though, do we have a mobile version of the web site ?

  • devday

    @ Yemi:
    It’s something we’re working on. Easter weekend will see a few changes happen…!