A lot of teams come to Arsenal planning to be solid and hard to beat, but few have parked the bus quite as blatantly as Stoke City did yesterday. Arsenal finally broke the resistance with a deflected free kick from Lukas Podolski, but the linesman tried to incorrectly rule the goal out for offside. The referee overruled his assistant, and it was the correct decision, but Tony Pulis is unhappy (there’s a surprise) because he thinks the Arsenal players influenced Chris Foy’s decision.
“The disappointing thing for me is the number of Arsenal players that surrounded the linesman. I thought that was something you couldn’t do.
“If he has given the right decision, he has given the right decision. You take it on the chin and get on with it.
“I haven’t got a clue what offside is now. When the linesman gives it offside, the way that Arsenal players surround the linesman, and the referee then goes over. I thought that if there were more than five players, you’re not supposed to do that. The referee reacted after that.”
The fact is that the referee was right to allow the goal and the linesman flagged Walcott offside but he did not affect anything. Wenger has accepted that the players may have gone too far but they were not aggressive, just wondering why he had raised his flag. The referee was not influenced and made the right decision, so stop whinging Pulis. You were lucky not to have two players sent off after Michael Owen bravely hit Arteta in trhe back and Shawcross tried to cut Koscielny in half.
Maybe Pulis should listen to his own advice and take it on the chin and get on with it.