107 Comments

Arsenal vs Watford. Match report.

pile-of-poo

 

The worst team in the league had 31 attempts at goal. an all time Arsenal PL record.

We were Shite.

Th-th-th-that’s all folks.

73 Comments

Arsenal vs Watford – At Last.

With the dreary international break behind us, for now, we get back to the bread and butter that is the Premier League as Arsenal take the short trip to Vicarage Road to play Watford FC.
Good day and all.
The Gunners started their league campaign with back-to-back wins but then hit the buffers in a pair of games against top-six opposition, picking up just a single point. This is without a doubt something Unai Emery and the boys will want to move on from quickly as we enter a very busy schedule.
Still winless after four, the Hornets are rooted at the bottom of the league table, for which Javi Gracia paid the price during the inter-break. That marked the return of Quique Sanchez Flores, who had a decent spell with them in 2015/16 before being replaced by his now predecessor – midtable safety and an FA Cup semi-final place. He now has the enviable task to hopefully reproduce what he got ditched for. Who said being a football manager is a thankless job? However, first up he has to get them off the foot of the table.
Given results thus far one would assume Watford will be short of confidence, however, their supporters will be hoping the “new manager bounce” will bring a positive shift in attitudes from their players. Let’s be honest, the hosts are a better side than their current form, with a decent blend of rugged physicallity, vigour and flair. So Flores, who many of the players are familiar with, just need to sort out how to get them going again.
In recent weeks Emery’s cautious approach came under the spotlight with some feeling he is too defense-minded when the team could perhaps benefit more if he look to maximize our attacking potential. Without repeating what were said before, today there’s two ways to go into this game; you can either ‘play it safe’ against a side who scored just twice in 360 PL minutes, or you can ‘have a go’ against the side that conceded three each in front of their home crowd against both Brighton and West Ham. I mean, if you can’t kick a team when they are down, when can you?
Team news:
Alexander Lacazette has been ruled out of action for the next two to three weeks due to an ankle injury, both Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira returned from intentional duty with knocks. While the latter two made training, with seven games over the next 22 days it’s unlikely they be risked.
This gives Emery an opportunity to start Dani Ceballos, we looked lively the second half against Spurs following his introduction. Then there’s also our creative mastermind Mesut Özil chomping at the bit to play alongside Nicolas Pépé. Some on twatter suggest Reiss Nelson and Joe Willock. I dunno man, they could a job but Watford, even in defeat, gave us problems in the past. So playing two or more rookies against players wanting to put their best foot forward for the new manager could leave us short on experience, especially in a time we are still trying to shed the flakiness on the road. Flores is also likely to set his team up to play from deep and plug their defensive holes, so our midfield may need to be more resourceful than recently if we want to stamp our authority on the game.
No question their old man who is now the new man will have the Vicarage Road faithful in good spirits, but they don’t have a particularly good record against the Gunners. We’ve beaten them five out of the last six times we’ve met in the league and they failed to score against us in the last three meetings.
If I have to stick my neck out… we are likely to see a decent albeit cagey game, but ultimately the Hornets will get stung. #COYG
@LaboGoon
56 Comments

Fred The Shed, Isn’t Dead!

80-year-old is 'Britain's oldest footballer', Dorset, Britain - 21 May 2016
Hullo, well it’s been a long time since we last had a natter. Three years! Im 85 now– soon going to hit my next birthday. A lot of changes since then, cant see any that we could say were good except a couple of decent looking lads coming into the club. As for the world, well its bonkers as always don’t you think? I don’t know, lot of silly billies around.
My nephew still comes over, and shows me on his computer pod thing a few odds and sods on a Saturday. He’s a good lad, just passed a load of O levels, not that they seemed to be called or graded like that anymore.We often listen in to the games together, but I cant afford any of the Sky stuff, so sometimes I don’t see the games until the following weekend through the Arsenal site unless its on Match of the Day. That’s gone down hill too. I don’t suppose many of you remember Jimmy Hill? Anyway, we’ve been looking in now and again at Positively Arsenal. Not too easy to be positive tho- I was sad to see a lot of the names and people I liked to read dropping off. Maybe they will come back? Mind you when the seas get stormy, folk head off for the lifeboats. But still like to see some of the regulars having a natter.
Well I had to give up me shed and the allotment, after my mate Geoff died, it wasn’t worth keeping on, it got a bit lonely, so I gave it up. Geoff and I had been pals since way back. Even went to the Farnborough air show when that crash happend with John Derry back in 1952. My old Dad drove the ambulance in the Spanish civil war as I said before and Geoff was a bit of first aider so we helped out that day and did what we could. Still brings a tear to me eye. Poor people.
Anyway, I dug up half the garden and built a new shed down the bottom. Been growing things like mad despite me arthritis. I stopped with the competitions but my rhubarb and runners are still top class. Living on your own you have to get a bit good at the old cooking lark. Like a daft apeth I still set the table for two. Joan would have liked the roses this year.
I get down there near me shed late on a summers night and sit back in me old deck chair that Ive had since 1966, one of them old fashion types and look up at the stars. Quite remarkable our Universe. My wife Joan- who I told you about, she liked the old astronomy, being a librarian she could pick out all the best books. We used to work out what was what. Now I just look up, with me herbal tea and some ginger snaps and sometimes the clouds roll by in different blues and the stars get blocked out but it doesn’t stop you thinking, summer fragrances nor no.
Well I keep thinking about our Arsenal and how its changed. Like you I miss Mr Wenger. Best manager we ever had. Old Tom Whittaker was my first memory, I was shocked when he died. The old Swindin and poor Billy Wright. Oddly me Dad and I never liked Bertie Mee though. Shame Dad didn’t see the double though. I often think of that. I think he would give old Emery short shrift! And a bent ear!
Swindin and Wright remind me of the new bloke. Sort of trying hard and getting no-where. Its all well and good training hard in the summer but the footballs a bit rum to me and we lost all our puff by the end of the season. Sometimes when my nephew plays them back to me on his computer pad thing but the games just seems a bit boring, Emery shouts a lot,and waves his arms but does anyone understand him? If I shouted at me runners to be Chrysanths, what would I expect? Seems to be too much shouting in this here world these days and not enough thought. Runners are Runners and Chrysanths are Chrysanths.
Now there’s all the changes. The Welsh lad, what his name, Ramsey, lovely player, shouldn’t have let him go! And that laddie from Germany, Ozil he’s a canny player. Makes old Jimmy Logie look like he had permanent lumbago! Well somethings not right. Doesn’t stop me getting hot under the collar a bit on match day though. Half the bloody team have disappeared! Now, look at the attack, sharpest in a few years but the midfield isn’t supplying enough. So play-makers are sent to Coventry or sold or given away. But we cant rely on them up front for the whole season. All of thems that’s gone smells of middle management to me. I don’t think some of them liked old Wenger. Too canny he was!
I seen them banner boys are still around, my nephew says they have some channel on You Television or something. Not my cuppa. Daft as the moon.I know it can hurt when we lose, but ranting and raving like bloody Hitler, what good does that do? What’s dead’s dead. And what’s living needs nurturing. Not sure our clubs like that at the moment? Seems a bit lost.
Feels odd to be disenfranchised doesn’t it? Imagine what its like at my age! Who gives a bugger about old codgers like me? But for you, must be a bit of a surprise and none too funny. But we don’t need to feel like that. It comes round on these idiot folk, in the end.
Look, what I don’t like is if an amateur bloke like me, who loves to watch a bit of classy football thinks he could set it up better than the manager, then somethings wrong. Now old Wenger he could set them up right no complaint from me. So could Terry Neill once he got the players in. Mee didnt keep the team together long enough and that double year could be a bit of a bore, expect there was a passion then that’s gone missing. But passions not enough- its all well and good to go calling for it but its intelligence and calm and intuition that we need. I suppose its these here phones and apps or whatever they’re called that gets peoples minds wandering off over the hills and far away?
Arsenal to me, for the last year has been like the old circuit boards when before it went AC/DC, sort of not getting enough power through and buggering around to much. Its not flowing! Emery has the players but he seems a bit lacking in ability to get them to work together. People say he’s a defensive manager, now old George Graham was tighter than a ducks backside but Emerys not really either way, not really defensive like GG or attacking like AW. Hence me saying not really a great circuit. Well, I suppose we will soon see it all play out before us. But I think we might get a new bloke in soon enough.
Well it was nice of you to think of me, got me up and thinking this morning when I heard you wondered what I thought. Have to admit I thought I was packed up and forgotten forever. Gone for a Burton!
Got me away from my latest read “Frank Whittle and the development of the jet engine”. Truly fascinating. I recommend it. Certainly it will keep you up at night. Now what silly sod had the idea to get rid of libraries? Well hope you can stay positive. Its for the best.
Well cheerio then.
131 Comments

North London Derby- COYG

th (2)
Never too early in the season for a North London Derby right?
Good day everybody.
All eyes will be at the Emirates Stadium this evening with Arsenal hosting Tottenham Hotspurs in the Premier League; a match of which the result could well be an early sign what club is likely to win the battle for St Totteringham this season.
Now one can imagine this game will be massive for both teams, not just because of each wanting to get one over the other, but because they’re still licking their wounds from their respective defeats and what better tonic than going into the inter-break with bragging rights over your archrival.
Spurs, with just one win in their opening three fixtures are struggling to find consistency and it’s not recent; they haven’t won an away league match since 5th January. So their shock home defeat to Newcastle only seem to pile on the problems Mauricio Pochettino are already grappling with.
Unai Emery’s selection and tactics last Sunday against Liverpool took many by surprise. Of course it didn’t work, but to be fair not many things do for visiting teams at Anfield. Either way, a defeat against the European champions doesn’t make a team bad and today the Gunners got another shot to get it together.
Questions are still asked about our defensive capabilities though.
While we were always going to be up against it at Anfield there’s still concerns that it has become easy to play against us because of a belief that our defense are just not strong enough to win many battles of attrition. We saw in games versus both Newcastle and Burnley how they weren’t short of chances. I mean, that’s not how progress is supposed to work right? So perhaps our best remedy may just be to start the dashing trio of Aubameyang, Lacazette and Pépé together, and not only that, but also provide them the necessary creativity in midfield to work with.
We know how beautifully this triumvirate exists in our heads and I can say this, it’s frustrating to know you have this wealth of talent but they are yet to be given their chance. In the last 10 minutes last Sunday we looked much stronger and direct when they were together on the field. If Emery goes with this… we’ll have a better shot to take advantage of a Spurs side who has been rocked in recent times.
Be that as it may it’s not all doom and gloom for either side. Totnum already had a big away game at Mancity and they did well to come away with a 2-2 draw. The Gunners looked half-hearted thus far but a win today will make it three in four and that wouldn’t make bad reading. But both teams will want to compensate for their less than enthused recent showings and with Manchester United and Chelsea both dropping points there may be bit of extra motivation for this to be a fiery contest.
Arsenal will start as favourites though, considering we have won 11 of our last 13 league games at home and Spurs hasn’t won a league match at the Ems in nearly nine years. However, I think we can expect a close encounter, not just because I don’t want to risk baiting the football gods, but games against that lot are never easy. They got few players who know how to turn it up so we dare not switch off through out.
I’ll love a Gunners win here today more than anything else, but at the very least I want our team to start showing signs of life and keep those yobs on the backfoot.
@LaboGoon
96 Comments

Liverpool vs Arsenal, A Familiar Outcome

Little-Girl-Funny-Sad-Face-Photo
Notes from Anfield:
Lots of noise from the Liverpool fans, always makes me feel sad that we no longer have that kind of passion, but the majority prefer the groan/slag as a way of supporting our team.
Third kit on view, looks handsome, still cant help feeling the trusty yellow gives us a link to greater glories?
Cameras on Cellabos in the pre.match warm up.
Liverpool really strong from the outset, Arsenal concede the midfield, some horrifying mistakes from us and we seem to miss an inner strength and seem really frightened of Liverpool. We are set up to defend and will grab our chances when they come.
Not taking our chances when they come or grabbing much.Our one hope, our attack seems to have damp in its gunpowder today. Taking a lot of stick and the Liverpool fans roaring their team into scoring.
Liverpool fans now booing us if we get the ball. If we can keep the ball it will make them a bit quieter. Staying noisy. Boo.
Half time getting closer and everyone in Arsenalville knows we’re are dead vulnerable at this point. In it swings and Guendouzi is pulled down, no VAR, ref doesn’t see it, Van D knows what he did but the goal stands. Hearts will go on forever but the Arsenal Titan is slipping under the water.
HT comes, phew. We are still in this, still have a chance.
After the half-time oranges and tea, off we go again,  if a second goes in early we are saying goodnight. Luiz knowing full well that this a new epoch in football and all eyes are watching, human and digital, tugs the shirt of Mo, and gives Liverpool a penalty. Tugging the shirt! Could at least have brought him down!!?
Leno has saved one in 18, which becomes 19. Goodnight sweetheart.
Liverpool cruising now and  in comes number 3, Nacho will be scapegoated before being flogged, in 9 days time. The usual stick from the commentator: build them up, smash them down. Liverpool love fest now under way. Green Arsenal eyes watch on.
Its warm and hot and Liverpool know this is one is over.
Ceballos goes off Torreira comes on and saves a bit of face with a goal, at a second attempt. He wants more goals and try’s to egg the team on a bit. Not happening too much egg on our face. Its horrible when you still have the hope that we might pull off a come back, when you know it isn’t happening?
On another day Liverpool could have had 4 or 5. But we too could have scored some goals, but today isn’t one for the photo album. It will be interesting at least to see Pépé develop?
Hope the big Ö is match fit soon.
2012 was the last time we won at Anfield, which seems a long time ago, with players long gone. It was often the case though, back in 89 we hadn’t won there since 75.
Not sure who can stop Liverpool at their place when they are like this? Well the transfer honeymoon is over, fingers will be pointed and blame passed on and around and back again.
And on we go, and next weekend entertain the Middlesexers.
Mills
COYG!
102 Comments

Liverpool Away , No Problem.

th
Good day one and all.
The Premier League clash of the weekend sees Liverpool host Arsenal at their Anfield Stadium in what could turn out being a cracker of a match.
Both teams come into this game on the back of two wins from their opening fixtures. Despite neither side looking in particular good nick, getting two from two is nothing to scoff at – the other 18 PL sides would take that in a heartbeat. The caveat however has always been that today’s game will be the yardstick.
Playing the European champions on their own patch would be a challenging task though, for any side – god knows we had our struggles there longer than we care to remember. Our last three visits alone saw us getting smashed by an aggregate score of 12-2. However, we did a bit of freshening up over the summer. So if we put on an encouraging performance and take points off of the Reds, our players and even the sceptics could feel hopeful that this particular *away match* may lead us to turning a corner – another heavy defeat, well, the rest of the season may be like déjà vu.
The Reds are currently on a 24 game unbeaten run at home in all competitions, that includes winning their last eight PL games on the bounce. They have scored 19 goals in their last six at Anfield (all competitions). So we may have to adopt an initial watchful approach to try negate their free-flowing attack play.
There are the lingering questions about our defense though. Can we defend deep, can we too be well-organized and tough to break down? Do we have the needed pragmatism to make Liverpool doubt themselves? This may be a cause for concern and deciding factor in whether to stick of twist.
Can Arsenal’s summer recruits rise to the occasion?
In recent trips up north in pursuit to go toe-to-toe with Jurgen Klopp’s side, we became unstuck by their gegenpressing. David Luiz, who was brought in specifically for his experience to tighten up our defense, will need to show that he can indeed provide the mettle needed for these fixtures. Both him and Sokratis can expect a busy evening, so they will have to hold their conjoint nerve to follow the game attentively, instead of rushing into things.
Dani Ceballos is a player I’m excited about. Okay, the hype around him is a bit extra and some use it to malign other players but that is not his doing. He’s still rough on the edges but did excel in his first start last weekend. He knows how to nick a ball in midfield and do have an eye for a pass. With more game time he’ll learn to release the ball a bit earlier, which would be something given the quality we have up top.
Our record signing Nicolas Pépé is here and is expected to make his first start. The glimpses we caught in his two cameos got our attention and it looks like we got ourselves a special un here. A front three of him, Lacazette and Aubameyang being served up for special days like these is what I’m here for. It’s long overdue that managers from the top-six clubs ahead of games against us think to themselves: “that Arsenal front three can cause us real problems”. You have to get the ball to them though. So hopefully Dani and Xhaka, who is back fit, can get on the ball comfortably to make those threaded passes to give our attacking threats enough space and service. I sure hope Unai Emery start those three together.
It’s been a while since the Anfield faithful saw their team lose at home – not since 23 April 2017. If we want to end their unbeaten run it will take a collective effort from back to front. We are in high spirits and I can’t see us going there to roll over.
Turn in a professional performance and leave it all out out there on the pitch… and we can all look forward to the rest of the season with renewed optimism.
@LaboGoon
125 Comments

Arsenal Players > Arsenal Performance

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A lot like last week, many of our players had good games and yet the team played some turgid stuff. We dominated possession and yet made few chances. I’ve long said that scores mask performances and this is yet another example. I can’t think of a single Arsenal player that wasn’t decent, but our team play was laboured and uninspiring.

We eventually won the game when Ceballos stuck our a foot and the ball fell in Aubameyang’s path, he then did his Aubameyang thing and scored a brilliant goal. Just like last week we relied on a moment of individual genius rather than cohesive team play.

Again, I feel mean spirited, given we won and have 6 points from our opening 2 games, but eventually, results will reflect performances.

I thought Ceballos was excellent and Luiz added much. Pepe looked like he could add a lot but ultimately fluffed his best line when he played a really poor ball behind Aubameyang , when a decent ball into his path would have been a tap in.

I have to give Mike Dean a mention as he was at his incompetent worst. He allowed Burnley players free hits after the ball had gone and punished us for the mildest infringement at every opportunity.

Now don’t get me wrong, we have been the better team in both games and deserved the points, but only bod just.