A new perspective, after a few days of consideration. 1) Please explain the tackle of Ruud over Vieira. Americans had Sky to thank for, we only got one angle. And yet, I read fifty different versions in my two MBs. Many of them were blatantly incorrect. 2) Please explain the history behind this row. Avoid marketing, statistics, who's a hot shot, the better diver, etc. Stick to THIS row. 3) Your opinions, please, and possible consequences. 1. Pat was heading to penalty area when ball was passed by [insert name of superstar] to Ruud, and RVN jumped up to reach it. English fans explained it as a LEGAL tackle or challenge, when a striker jumps up for the ball and the rival ducks down. Fine, but in this case, I see that Pat was not aware of the ball when Ruud climbed over him, using him as a trampoline. [according to Webster, when Ruud came down, he locked his leg and hurt Vieira] 2. last season, ManU-Arse at Old Trafford, as Ruud marched to penalty area, out of nowhere Keown came up to him (in same marching disposition) and slapped his face. Keown was charged with violent misconduct after FA reviewed the tape, received a penalty (5,000 pounds) and a big warning. There's more. I have the feeling that yellow cards have little significance on the pitch anymore. As a result, this season the FA set new standards with referees, most dramatic with keepers, but with yellow cards too. FA wants refs to adhere strictly to the rules. Arsenal launched a complaint against Bennett after the Community Shield, perhaps informally, but it was there. When the FA selected Bennett to referee this match, it was their "informal" answer: "Shut up!" (With this in mind, Webster has little grounds to claim that Bennett was hungry for power, unable to control players, etc.) 3. My opinions (not well-founded but hopefully useful?) Whether or not it was an evil foul or legal tackle, I was stunned by Vieira's enraged reaction. Now I believe the ref did everything right. I admit I was misled by Webster's article on Fox's site and fans' complaints about refereeing. Ref is supposed to "keep the game afloat," after all, he's on a timer too. See, Arsenal players and Wenger (my biggest idols) are so haughty taughty (sp?) to think they're such experts in the game that they don't need anyone telling them how to play it: This includes a ref and a striker from an opposing team. As to the ref, all they can do is complain; for a rival, they can call him a cheat. Vieira was angry at the tackle and lashed out. But then he was furious at the ref, not for receiving a red, but because the Ref did not red card Ruud. Again, it's others' decision making that Arsenal can't tolerate. Then, on a separate issue, Keown and co. were angry that "things were not going their way." Even now they can't admit that Man United are a formidable side. What did they expect, that they would play Leicester's twins? ManU are last season's champs and SAF has improved the team over the summer (two great oustings, arrival of great youngsters and one of the finest keepers I have ever seen in my life!). In this respect, even the most devout Gooner cannot but side with Man United on this. They will be massively disappointed when the penalties come down hard (including Nick Webster), because the FA do act in the best interest of the sport, not to harm a particular club. They don't gain anything by squashing Man United's competition. It makes the sport quite boring. Sunday's events were twofold: Keown's adolescent insistence on humiliating a fellow player, lack of total respect, putting himself above anyone else as the expert and the best there is. Well surprise, there are some strikers who can break his defensive tactics and he is irritated by it - a sign that he's not that great of a player. When Arsenal STANK and sank against Inter, their shame reverted into hooliganism on Sunday. For a 37 year old with some 20 years of experience, he is pretty insecure. And Arsenal's defiance against the FA, the authority on matters related to sporstmanship and behaviour, will come down hard on them. If I'm right about the previous histories behind the row, I can imagine the FA deducting points only because Arsenal do not come to reason. They are putting the English game into disrepute, and it will cost them dearly.