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Child’s Play At The Emirates.

Like every professional football correspondent I intend to completely ignore the football I have seen during the match and I will concentrate on my own pre-prepared agenda(s).

Anyway – I will get rid of the football bit first. This really was an end of season stroll around by both teams, the relative league positions before the game saw to that. There were a couple of beachballs bouncing around in the clock end – I don’t know if our fans or the baggies brought them but that spelt-out the character of this match. The Albion rarely even bothered to try and foul us, and if they did we didn’t even retaliate. A few yellow cards came at the end but there was not much at stake for either team to fight over – this game could have been played wearing flip flops.

The game itself was decided by a typical piece of Oliver Giroud finishing (i.e. excellent) from a Santi corner. Giroud has been exceptionally good for us this season – a fine example of Wenger’s shrewd purchasing policies [Giroud’s goals alone have been game-changers no less than 11 times this season, not even counting the contribution of his assists and general hard working hold-up play and defensive presence]. Lukas Podolski also came close yesterday with another chance, It should not be a surprise to us to think that Wenger was deliberately keeping him in reserve for this part of the season. Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla showed glimpses of their exquisiteness in a match that really didn’t need any. Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini will hardly ever get an easier day in the middle of the park, and Per and Kos didn’t have a lot to do and dealt with pretty much everything the Baggies feebly threw at them very comfortably. The biggest laugh of the day was Berahino’s slip and our fans singing “are you Gerrard in disguise?” to him. Diaby and Theo were walking around after the match, with Aaron Ramsey carefully packed away in cotton wool for the final. All told a nice n’ easy day’s work at the office.

So no excitement or drama from the Arsenal at the end of a season? The Spuds and Everton safely disposed of ? Sky, BBC and the press must be rightly disappointed with us: there goes the narrative and story arc they so badly wanted Arsenal to deliver for them. So here we are, comfortably ensconced back into the top 4 and an FA Cup final to look forward to; but isn’t there just a little sense of an anti-climax around ? A sense of the what might have beens’ this season?

Arsene Wenger promised us last summer that we were about 2 years away from competing against our rivals again for the title. This season we were 128 days at the top of the table, we have had a spectacular first half of the season and were right up there in the race until we went to Stamford Bridge. Arsenal don’t do bus parking at away games and there isn’t really a game plan for damage limitation when it sometimes goes a bit Pete Tong, as Arsene says – he designs his team formations for our attacking strengths. 

We have seen very positive signs we are still improving: 23 wins so far, 76 or probably 79 points will have been gotten this season, it all amounts to a tangible improvement and when you look at the much tighter closing of the gap between Arsenal and the top of the table compared to recent seasons it should give us succor to know the same group of players can get even closer next season. We haven’t been this good since ’07-’08 and if we look back at some of the points dropped this season which might have been saved by a team with just a little bit more confidence in themselves that they can close games out, we could have been right in it to the very end. Were we to go on and win the FA Cup that will give this team a huge boost in self-belief. 16 clean sheets has been decent too, and if you ignore the away drubbings (I do all the time) then the defense has been reliably solid.

Every expert in the world has concluded that we need a new striker. All I want is Giroud, Walcott and Podolski to be all available for Arsenal next season then let’s pick and choose someone new who will complement these attackers and who can play along with a midfield of Ozil-Diaby-Ramsey. To be honest we do need more goal scoring options, we have scored 40 goals less this season that City or Liverpool and the team that scores the most goals usually wins the league in England.

It’s also a commonly held truth that Arsenal are in possession of more money hoarded away than Smaug the dragon. This is the club’s rainy-day savings, I suspect it has been kept for use when our rivals will be under a huge strain with FFP, so if the right players come into the market this summer, I fully expect Wenger will get whoever he wants  – adding to the team we have now which is very damn close to being right up there as it is.

I will trust Arsene Wenger’s judgement only on who and who isn’t an Arsenal quality player.

It was nice to see a lot of the fans stay for the lap of appreciation at the end. Bacary Sanga got a big shout-out to stay, and there was a big cheer for his little boy running onto the pitch and kicking a ball into an empty net, (see what I did there – that’s journalism!). You won’t get that wherever else you go Bacary, just remember that and thanks anyway for your time here.

As always, it was a pleasure to meet up with the fellow Positivista’s before the match. We are becoming quite the handy little firm. Anicoll5, ArsenalAndrew, Billy Boots, Georgaki Pyrovoltis and of course Hunter13. Their real identities will be kept perfectly safe with me.

Today’s post was brought to us by Double Canister.

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90 comments on “Child’s Play At The Emirates.

  1. Just saw an interview with the guy who organized those protests and they just want Arsenal tickets to be affordable to everyone. I support him.

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  2. PG, a thought!

    “Will the fan base wake up and smell the coffee now? Are the debt buster brigade still pleased to see fan money go towards making a hideously wealthy cowboy even richer?

    We’re being conned and it makes me sick to the pit of my stomach”

    le-grove on the 26th February 2010.

    An Arsenal supporter – never, ever..

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  3. With ffp in mind I find it hard to believe shitty or psg will want to attain the service of a 32 yrs old bosman case.

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  4. And oh seeing northbank talking shit about our manager on the other site I would like to say good riddance. It is what it is.

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  5. 50 mil penalty and squad limit for champions league. As punishment for first year offense it’s not totally negligible. I assume there are threats of a harsher punishment for second time offense.

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  6. Squad limit may hurt a lot, if the requirement to keep homegrown numbers (8 I believe) is enforced.
    Joe Hart, James Milner. Gareth Barry. Jolen Lescot. Micah Richards.; also Scott Sinclair & Jack Rodwell – all English. Emyr Huws. Marcos Lopes may count.

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  7. Read it somewhere homegrown quotas still got to be met. Ironically the English players you mentioned DC are all on ridiculous wages (for their talents especially). A bit of catch 22 here.

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  8. SHOTTA
    post of the day..

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  9. All in all… it’s great to be a Gooner

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  10. Apropos
    Exactly – most are deadwood, and now might have to be kept on the books for longer.

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  11. Thanks GK for bigging me up.

    How about that toothless FFP! Remember our former colleagues who proclaimed with great wisdom that the pursuit of FFP by Wenger and Gazidis were the act of deluded, foolish men. Once again proof that having a blog and constantly repeating idiocy and falsehoods cannot and does not substitute for sober truth-seeking.

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  12. Northern mancs in action. More rollercoaster topsy-turvy rush to first place?? or standard boring win. ??
    Will see…

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  13. Eagerly waiting” TWENTY FIVE YEARS AND NO LEAGUE TITLE YET ” articles. ain’t seen one yet. you???

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  14. Last years numbers for the different premier league clubs. Turn over, wage bill etc.

    http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/may/01/premier-league-accounts-club-by-club-david-conn

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  15. Goodness what a knob that David Conn is – what passes for journalist in the modern sports media

    Extraordinary

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  16. Lol agreed anicoll5. His analysis are truly pathetic, I duly ignored them. It’s the easy accessible numbers I’m after. Shittys wage bill 233m to compare with ours 154m.

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  17. As for sport journalists Paul hayward is my latest pet peeve. What a pompous ass.

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  18. Apologies for the delayed response:

    65 hrs a week corporate life is killing me, although its a job I love doing, lately I have only been going to office because after 5 days of work come the friday, saturday and sunday nights when I can play my heart out on the football field and watch the Arsenal in action!

    I agree with everything that was said in the other post and I have found most comments interesting and illuminating. Staying positive is the key now 🙂

    I am very happy FFP is punishing Man City, I remember most guys around here predicting it would arrive and arrived it has. More than the money, I hope the shame of being reprimanded keeps them true going forward.

    Thanks to UEFA for doing your bit in keeping the game clean.

    and what more, Arsene is staying! right! like there was ever a doubt. How can any one not see the obvious, that we have the greatest man in the world of football at our club. wonder what it takes for some. The wonder years won’t be long now.

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  19. Suarez crying broke my heart really.

    I hope he stays at Liverpool next season too and compete with all that he has.

    Giroud was excellent this season. there can be absolutely no question about that. However, beginning of the season I said we should get one more striker, I am of the same opinion this time around. Bendtner is almost certain to depart, numbers wise we just have 2..not nearly enough imho.

    I want sagna to stay, fabianski to stay. They are needed next season too.

    but before lets play like champions and win like champions, the F.A. cup. I hope they play without any fear as to be honest, a little hand brake in the minds of players [not Arsene, just the players] is something I sense has hampered us on more than one occasion. Let it not be the case this time!

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  20. The less I comment on FFP the better.
    But I did enjoy the rumours that FFP was a consideration in the insane decision to sell Mata. A player who could be useful against two lines of five. Heh.

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  21. HEAR HEAR
    hearing they sang SAGS song to stay but not FABIANSKI truly made me sad. What happened to all those classy GOONERS that epitomized THE ARSENAL. the tradition, the glory the class. I wish him lots of happiness however this thing turns out.
    SAGS too. He should have been our captain by now. A very capable one too.

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  22. “Suarez’s tears are beautiful. I bet Ghanaians are laughing their arses off.”

    It’s been a long time coming but it’s so nice to see Karma finally making an appearance! Couldn’t happen to a more deserving recipient – redemption my arse!

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  23. passenal

    madam,

    it broke my heart when ghana lost in the world cup.

    football is a an amazing game, a game of emotions too. things happen in an instant and I am sure you know this, sometimes players do stuff they may not really like doing.

    Let me ask you a simple question,
    Would you hope such a cruel thing happen to Ox, because when ox handled the ball in the match against chelsea he committed a very similar action to what suarez did in the WC.

    Please don’t ask me back if I not curse shawcross because he too acted in an instant. [Internet is one place where i have seen assholes use absurd logic like this].

    let’s keep calm and love Arsenal.

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  24. Sorry Arshavin23, but TH’s instinctive hand to ball in the WCQ’s was a one off in a mostly unblemished career. Suarez is a different matter altogether. There have been a string of offenses which suggest a nasty person and a serial cheat. Hence my pleasure that he has finally got his comeuppance. There is nothing more unedifying than the suggestion that he has redeemed all his racist, cheating behaviour on the back on scoring a few goals. He is scum and unrepentant scum at that, so as unenlightened as it is, I take great pleasure in seeing the possibility of him finally pay for it.

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  25. for me Poldi is a true Arsenal player.

    Fierce competitor on the pitch. kind, humble and jovial off it 😀

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  26. he once bit off an opponent’s ear.

    madam,

    i respect your opinions as they are your personal.

    I just responded to your comment because i felt you posted the same comment again right after mine.

    hope that helps.

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  27. ARSHA23
    I’m sorry but there was nothing spontaneous with regards surez handball against Ghana nor that butcher try to hack off AARONS foot off. Diabolic in both instance. Blatant cheating and blatant assault on a player that was toying with your defense. They should both have been banned for much much longer than they were. I would not compare them to OXs naive and incidental handling of the ball against chelski.
    that said a better example would be HENRYs hand ball against the Irish in a very important game for both. Heartbreaking and to this day the only blemish on the cv of a player that I adore in every other sense. I wish none of the three would have resorted to these actions and hope I never see it again . Specialy the leg hacking.
    Lastly, yes WE DO LOVE THE ARSENAL!!
    YES WE DO..

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  28. goonerkam,

    i agree with your comment and passenal’s too.

    but, i like suarez.

    both as a player and as a person but not as a person on a football pitch.

    lets just please leave it at that.

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  29. He is an amazing footballer , that is for sure. He doesn’t need to cheat. He is that good. Both instances where he has lost his mind and fought back against defenders who had him in a choke hold for one and grabbing his crotch the other is explainable. And being stupid enough to fall for evras antics when he had him beaten every time. I play the game weekly and I have done worse to people that did much less to provoke me as in stamping on my foot on corners and putting the shoulder to my chin as I went by. If I was grabbed there or placed in a choke hold I don’t know what my reaction would be.
    Its just that constant instinct to get an advantage by cheating that bugs the hell out of me. And he doesn’t have to, he is that good.

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  30. Good ol karma bitchslapped the french at the World Cup big time too.
    Apart from our Diaby, the curse of the irish made mincemeat of their efforts.

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  31. Diaby was The only French player to have a good tournament at that WC, their best player.
    Be nice if he got five minutes before the end of the season, preferably at Wembley, with the Arsenal leading 3-0.

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  32. Arshavin23

    Sorry mate but I don’t understand your comment about Shawcross, it makes absolutely no sense at all.

    If in cricket a fast bowler is tired and has not the best technique they may bowl a Beamer at an opponents head. A Beamer is an accident. The convention is the bowler immediately holds up their hands, apologises to the batsman, the umpire and everyone else.

    If the bowler bowls a Bouncer and breaks the batsmen’s nose they will attempt to suppress a smile, and them walk back ready for the next player/victim, whilst the crowd and their teammates congratulate the bowler. of course there’ll be some sympathy shown to batsmen as their blood is washed from the wicket. Football is not quite like Cricket and that’s why footballers don’t wear helmets and stuff.
    In the safety conscious and incredibly dangerous sport of Formula One/motor racing drivers who endanger their colleagues get called out in the pit lane.

    If an athlete in a competition endangers an opponent through reckless stupidity and/or poor technique (let’s give the **** the benefit of the doubt, eh?) they never have any excuse. None. As in zero.

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  33. That would be very nice FINS. very nice indeed. I hope he comes back fully. Best years of his life are going to waste. I hope he is mentally still strong. Like AARON.

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  34. To clarify:
    An F1 driver who is a danger to his colleagues cannot be compared to a team cheating because the chassis contravenes regulations/rules and is 0.1mm too close to the ground.

    It’s not the same thing.

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  35. AMAN
    heh. There is a god. And he did a number on those French. That he did.

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  36. If villa could score, they’d be winning this game. 🙂

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  37. “but, i like suarez.

    both as a player and as a person but not as a person on a football pitch.”

    Says it all really and explains why I have never taken to you on here.

    George, I’m not denying TH cheated, but it was not par for the course – it was pretty much out of the ordinary and not something I enjoyed seeing. The difference between a heat of the moment incident and serial unrepentant cheating is the point I was making.

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  38. P.S. and while you’re at it, keep your condescending ‘madam’ talk to yourself.

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