108 Comments

Three Games

Evening Positive heads and a late epistle before settling down to an evening of midweek football. How unlucky that the new TV deal was not signed that would have allowed me to watch the two masters of the long ball in action at the Britannia tonight ! I shall hide my disappointment.

I presume we all saw last night’s game and not much new I can think to say. A good first half, two up and a game we appeared to be cruising to an easy victory, though Leicester were not lying down. Followed by a second half in which we lost our momentum and saw out the game amid much relief. No real explanation for it. The passing game fell apart. The required three points banked but disappointing injuries to Alexis and Aaron. Is it a curse ? Sometimes it feels like it. I have to admit the sense of second half unease has led to a day of inward reflection on the season. My mood, like the sky, has been a little chilled and grey.

Anyway I did not come on to navel gaze but to highlight our next three games, Boro on Sunday, Palace on the following Saturday and Monaco on the 25th February.

Three games that will, to whip out the well used epithet, “define our season” or DOS as I often refer to in the saloon bar of the Truss and Trumpet.

Three games against sides who we are better at football than. Almost no travelling required. Although the Leicester game came swiftly after the pain at the Lane I can’t see fatigue is likely to play much of a part over the next two weeks. We have added to our injury list but Jack is due back, Gabriel yet to play, Callum has had his feet up for a few weeks, as has Kieran and where is he boy Bielik ? No idea why Giroud was rested last night. We are not short of players.

Two domestic opponents who in Boro and Palace, on the times I have watched them, at least try to try to play football. That should suit us, especially Boro at home on a good surface and a late afternoon kick off. I fancy goals, and a hatful.

Palace will be more of a battle but the last time they beat us in a league game at Selhurst Park was on the 10th November 1979, or 35 years ago. And I am sorry Mr Pardew, but I do not believe that the weight of history is likely to turn over the course of the next few weeks. It does us no harm that Palace seem to have cemented PL survival just about. If they can turn over the Scousers on Saturday in the 5th round they may have the scent of Wembley in their nostrils by the time of our visit. I see a One-nil for the visitors.

Monaco provides the third hill to clamber over and probably, in terms of quality of the opposition, travel schedule, style of play, the hardest.

They sit 5th on the French League, and have put a fairly disastrous start to the league season behind them.

However looking at their results since the Christmas break they have patchy form, some wins, draws and a recent loss to Guingamp for the first time ever. Still a long way off a CL place. On the positive side the Monagasque have a solid defence, just 19 goal conceded in 24 games but are the lowest scorers among the top eight clubs, with just 25 goals. And just 4 goals in six CL ties compared to our 15. ( and yet they won their group ! ) Berbatov may still have a lovely touch but the Bulgarian is now past his 34th birthday and his body no longer as agile as his mind.

Two legs and another narrow victory. It has to be a win at the Ems though, no errors, no feeble effort.

No doubt the goddess of football will derail my carefully dreamed mosaic and impose her own demonic outcome, abetted by her crew of evil dwarves equipped with whistles.

Right, musing done and off to tonight’s footballing feast.

108 comments on “Three Games

  1. Ah we are again being Hunted excellent. Nice piece A5.
    there are refs that do call the very basic and these are clearly being paid.
    As regard to our form I don’t understand how we were getting progressively better and then the last two games our collective defensive solidity, our midfield cohesion and our attacking flair have all been lacking. If our progression in the cups continue we will have a tough time getting fourth as our rivals will all have greater rest. We go to manure away after a CL game and have a possible fixture list of manure( f.a. cup) real Madrid (CL) and chelski (PL) all in the same week.
    I think, like Pass, our squad will be tested to the limit this season.
    One last thing as an extremely superstitious fan in blaming George for our recent defeat at the lane. The spurs fan view should quite clearly have been posted first with A5 s post left to receive all the comments pre, during, and post game. I AM NOT HAPPY!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yawns at dkgooner. Those are so 1990s.

    Now Arsene Wenger controlling minds and the weather through sophisticated frequencies!? Has anyone seen Tesla and Wenger in the same room together? I’m all ears.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I wanted to do that Ian. But Andrew beat me to the punch.

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  4. hallo fins!! you coming to the yacht party in port hercule, monaco ? mendez paying…

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  5. Hunter I wish I could join you and the krazy crew on the boat but i don’t have any sacrificial mules to place upon Jorge’s alter at the moment.*

    I’ll just have to make do.

    We’ll do pint before season’s end.

    *that unemployed Dutch dude has been groaning at AFC again but the contrast with his lack of comments on the obvious Walcott-Falcao rehab comparison (similar injuries at the same time) which even a dunderhead like me can make tells us all we need to know.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Arsenal being linked with ex inter milan DM Patrick Olsen, he is 20 and was recently released by Inter Milan, and is said to be training with Chelsea.
    He has in the past got sent of in three reserve games in a row, and that is said to be one of the reasons why Inter let him leave.

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  7. https://pbs.twimg.com/media/B9qQMY4IQAA6lHk.jpg:large

    agenda against chelsea says jose the bully and yet no charge for putting someone in a headlock, I suppose what is good for charlie adam is good for Branislav Ivanović. The FA are a disgrace

    Liked by 1 person

  8. ahhh your loss fins mate…we are dinking the philipino crew with ropes up and down adjacent to the waterline to paint the new plimsol line as we are reducing the yacht’s dwt to 2,500 mt so as to get accepted in the p[orts of ibiza/mallorca on a 4.6 mtr draft…..30 of them ultra rare arabic blondes waiting….we need this guy for the champions league so im all for sacrificing for the greater cause plus he is mates with mesut who is bringing the coke….winner!

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  9. Hunter
    Reminds me of the time when I spent the weekend at Bernie’s (Marseille, Tapie)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Sounds just like the kind of nutter Arsenal need, Eddy.

    Is Flamini not flavour of the month anymore?

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  11. I cannot fathom why Arsenal Plc haven’t hit that unemployed Dutch horse doctor with a legal injunction.

    London is fully of very nasty law firms who are the world’s best at libel laws counter attacks.

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  12. There is something rotten with the FA

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  13. what ducth doctor? ive lost some episodes

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  14. DC: Legal injunction? I would rather a lethal injection.

    Liked by 4 people

  15. How about this possible QF and SF line up

    Arsenal v Bradford City
    to meet
    Derby County V Aston Villa

    West Ham Utd. v Crystal Palace
    to meet
    Stoke City v Man Utd.(or Preston North End).

    only a complete guess, but entirely possible.

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  16. Be interesting if us and either West Ham or Palace got to the final whether the rule against a player on loan appearing against their own club would stand. I think there is a rule anyway but there probably should not be.

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  17. Positivistas – I have asked a Boro fan of my acquaintance, Mr Bill Stroller, to put pen to paper prior to our Sunday tie and produce a few pointers on what to watch for.

    I trust that does not cause any disquiet – given the slight hitch last Saturday lunchtime ?

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Leave it with you then Andrew. Will you be doing something too?

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  19. I may well do !

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  20. th elast thing i remember of middlebro is tuncay scoring goal offside or with hand and our correct goal being cancelled due to offside..adebyor thnk it was…this was 07-08…when they decided that arsenal winning the league was not nice for the brand.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. A faint hope but with the extra billions that Sky have paid what is good for the brand must be to have clubs with the greatest world wide support doing well. And Arsenal don’t do too badly on that score, as do Liverpool and Man U. It would be funny if the table tilted against the likes of Chelsea and City.

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  22. sure foreverheady but this means that we have to play to their rules in order to win it whereas for me it was always about us going against their rotten system, exposing them and beating them with less money and make them all look like clowns.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. A5 nooooooooooooo!!! only joking but just remember to make sure there is an ARSENAL post on the top of it.
    Middlesborough have always been a team that should be in the top division, they are what I term a proper club hopefully they will again adopt their rightful place next season.
    They have always done things right and have always had a good youth policy and who could forget their wonderful brazilians and that old italian who played with his shirt over his head. They also must be the only team to be relagated due to flu and a dodgey PL panel.
    Obviously I think it will be in their best interest to fail to progress any further in this years f.a.cup.
    I always regard games between the two sides as entertaining, with one of the best ones at highbury when we let them go three up only to win the game with five glorious goals. They even let Glen Helder score at there place.
    I have just watched Arsenes press conference on player and when the media ask intelligent questions about the state of the game it really illustrates that Arsene is the real deal when it comes to Premier league managers, while maureen is a guest who appears every now and again he is nothing more than a side show just thrown in to pad out the storey, throw in fat sam, bare bones arry and the jovial holloway and you have a decent array of supporting characters. However once again the proffessor is still the main attraction and maybe thats why the media has such a fixation with our club.
    Back to the game I cant see many changes to the line up sunday as I believe Arsene really does hold the present middlesborough side in high regard and is not just paying lip service. Our current mad keeper will come back in and gibbo at left back, he may start Gabriel to give kos a rest buts thats it. Its difficult to see the likes of Le Coq, mezut or santi being left out. Individually players like Chambers,Chuba, Flamster may have a case to start but as a team I ‘d much prefer limited changes.
    Oh one last thing you have to feel sorry for chelski who are so put upon when one of their players head butts an opposing player the whole team gets charged, maybe im reading that wrong.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Sometimes I just can’t help myself;

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/29245446

    How on earth did Randy Lerner make his money ?

    Liked by 1 person

  25. excellent A5,
    Villa chief executive Tom Fox said: “We have a long-term vision for Villa. Well at least until February

    Liked by 1 person

  26. double canister
    February 13, 2015 at 10:36 am
    I cannot fathom why Arsenal Plc haven’t hit that unemployed Dutch horse doctor with a legal injunction.

    DC why should arsenal bother to give him the publicity, after all his attacks on Arsenal are nothing more than an attempt to get publicity by using the name of Arsenal. What I find funny is the media and Arsenal bloggers calling him a fitness expert, after all he is such a fitness expert no club or FA employs him, and he clearly has no company of his own or else he would not have the time to be trolling Arsenal.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. So Wenger telling lies in his press conference today, he said

    “we have individualised training for the players and prevention.”

    we all know this is a lie, as le grove have been telling the world for years that all our players do the same training and we don’t have individual training regeimes like the progressive clubs/managers use.

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  28. could his campaign b/s talks backfire and they actually do campaign against him and his team of chavs?

    yes please !!!

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  29. but heh..legrove can not be taken seriously…first of all the guy who has the site is an immature kid doing his hobby on the internet…and even he has seen the wrongs of the doom movements….

    its ok there are many children with arsenal blogs in the internet…the other day i was reading a grown child so confused it could not understand why teams would go for champions league positions/money/stature rather than the romance of the cup…….or the pearl ‘why be in it if you aint aiming to win it’ … oh well i dont know…for gradual growth as a club/company? to raise your fanbase? become more popular worldwide? attract sponsors? …basic stuff really….

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  30. Eduardo, everyone knows Arsenal’s practices consist of Bould doing all the work while Arsene sits in the dug out counting his cash.

    Liked by 3 people

  31. no no no gainsborugh, that is only before games we win, Wenger takes the training before all defeats and does not allow Bould to even speak at those training sessions

    Liked by 1 person

  32. it seems Sol Campbell wants to be Aston Villa manager.

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  33. Too much heading those big soggy footballs

    Liked by 1 person

  34. I see somebody has not done their homework – again!

    THAT person is attempting to beat The Arsenal with the London Living Wage stick.

    Greater London Authority has issued: A fairer London, the 2014 Living Wage in London, publication.

    This year, the Basic Living Costs approach yields an hourly wage of £7.65 per hour and the Income Distribution approach one of £8.25.

    “The average of these two wages (called the “poverty threshold wage”) is £7.95 per hour.

    In order to protect against unforeseen events a margin of 15 per cent is added to the poverty threshold wage. This gives a figure of £9.15 per hour (when rounded to the nearest five pence) as the London Living Wage.

    If means-tested benefits were not taken into account (that is, tax credits, housing benefits and council tax benefits) the Living Wage would be approximately £11.65 per hour. However we believe that in work benefits and tax credits must be taken into account, as the tax and benefit system is, by design ,redistributive.”

    WHY should the London Living Wage be universal?

    .

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  35. Sol is a nice bloke but having already had one breakdown he is not the person to cope with PL management. He is still battling his own demons and is still abit naive

    Liked by 2 people

  36. Notoverthehill, I hope your not suggesting that the bank of England club, the club with so much class and tradition shouldn’t pay the London living wage. Furthermore all contractors supplying the club should have the same stipulation. While I don’t like the people who use any stick to bash ARSENAL this is an absolute no brainer.

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  37. Even Chelsea have vowed to bring in the London Living Wage for their staff.

    I just hope they start with Cesc, Terry and Costa.

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  38. Have you guys read the slaughtering Paul Scholes has given on Van Gaal’s reign as Manchester Utd. Boss?
    Unbelievable stuff, from such a club stalwart.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/news-and-comment/paul-scholes-column-this-manchester-united-team-is-not-being-true-to-the-clubs-ethos-of-attacking-and-taking-risks-10042729.html

    I’m looking forward to Emperor Louis’s PowerPoint rebuttal.

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  39. ‘boro nearly scored a great goal against City, the goals they did score were pretty good. Never going to be an easy game.

    Injuries mean that we could see an interesting attack. Will OG be rested again after picking up knocks (unpunished fouls) in the derby? Ideally you’d want to rest Ozil and Walcott as both are returning from injury but with fresh hacks sorry injuries that might not be possible.

    Possible front line from:
    Ozil/Akpom – Giroud/Welbeck – Walcott

    Midfield as always contains the key.
    Coquelin, and probably the two seniors Cazorla and Rosicky but Santi got a hack (uncalled) towards the end of the last game, might need a rest anyway, so we could see Chambers or another nipper in midfield too.

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  40. Fins
    I’m virtually certain Welbeck and Walcott will start. The boss has said Woj will start, and picking Gibbs and Chambers is not weakening the team.
    I’d like to see Özil play, to work up his match sharpness but I think the game is too soon for Wilshere- he could be on the bench with Alexis,, Goroud, Santi – massive game changers to call upon if needed.
    Coq and Rosicky in the centre will do, even add in Flamini if we want to be ultra cautious.

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  41. An entertaining start to the Cup weekend with Fat Sam’s boys absolutely flattened by the Baggies.

    Did not see that coming ! ( and nor did Allardici)

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  42. No worries about facking Jenks at Wembley now, Anicoll.
    Stoke are 2-1 down at halftime in Blackburn.
    The pitch is very old Skool, you could grow potatoes on it.

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  43. Forgot to mention, Stoke are down to 10 orcs.

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  44. It’s turning horribly wrong for Stoke,
    3-1 now and murinasa limping off.

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  45. What a loss to the FA Cup with Stoke getting a long overdue thrashing – Orc fans fighting in the corner – my money is on another red card

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  46. Nice work from 4th official Andrew Marriner and Anthony Taylor with the whistle

    Marriner can’t tell the difference between Whelan and Bardsley

    Whips out the red on Whelan

    Then has to put it away again

    Top top entertainment

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  47. 3 teams so far in the hat for the QFs
    West Brom
    Reading
    Blackburn Rovers

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