Arsenal v the Smoggies – it is early yet

Dear Positivitas, please find below the wise and no doubt the carefully considered words of a Smoggie, Mr Stroller by name who has been a supporter of Boro since Jack Charlton was a small boy.

Bill offers a spot of history, a spot of technical football analysis and – well, yes, on Valentine’s Day – lust.

Enjoy !


OMG….. I can see David Mills even now…. the late 70’s…blonde afro hairstyle flying in the breeze as he sliced through the Arsenal defence YET AGAIN….as Arsenals defence collapsed like a House of Cards before him….and the 5th Boro goal nestled in the back of the net……….

Terry Neill suggested afterwards that the Arse defence had practised their passing game against 10 dustbins in training the day before…AND THE DUSTBINS WON !!

I recall coming down to the Gunners FAB HIGHBURY Stadium the year Jack Charlton’s Boro got promoted in 1975. I had to see KEN FRIAR, your long serving Club Secretary to conclude a little business BEFORE the game. He invited my colleague and I to have lunch in one of the club restaurants and we were taken to a beautiful dining room and sat on the next table to Joan Collins and her dad.                  My pal said – can you smell Sunday Dinner….and I said.. “ I can SMELL MONEY”   Hell, we were used to having a BOVRIL & a MARS Bar “OooP NORTH “. This was a different world and your famous MARBLED HALLS were amazing. What a classy place it was…and so was JOAN. The woman was very sexy to us 2 young fellas sat next to her. She teased us and tickled our fancies and was quite preposterous with some of her suggestions. She and her dad asked if we want to have a go on their “forwards sweep draw”….so we said go on then. Trouble was we had to decline as they were chucking in a TENNER a go…we used to put 50 pence in OOP at AYRESOME PARK.

Highbury was always one of my fave grounds…and over the last 30 years or so – ARSE have been my 4th FAVE TEAM in RED…after Boro , BORO reserves…and my BILLINGHAM STROLLERS VETERANS team…who appeared at WEMBLEY STADIUM in August 1993 at the CHARITY SHIELD. We shared the pitch with ARSENAL that day as they followed our game against NOTTINGHAM VETS by playing ( and losing) to Man Utd.,

As for SUNDAY’s game…… well…. BORO are no longer the surprise package in the FA CUP…and you guys MAY have a bit of a battle on your hands.

Personally, I think YOUR GAME will suit our style far more than MAN CITY did. YOU LOT have CLASS all over the pitch and we have PASSION and COMMITTMENT and PACE…..and a fair amount of CLASS. AITOR KARANKA will make sure we’re NOT overawed and NOT over confident after our good form throughout the season.

DANGER MEN you need to watch out for……. TBH….ALL OF US……… Our keeper is TERRIFIC. He’s 36 and been on the scrapheap more times than enough yet he’s got more clean sheets than the SAVOY HOTEL.

The back four is full of class, height, pace, heading ability and great savvy. VERY disciplined indeed.

Mid-field dynamos are Leadbitter and Clayton – the BEST 2 guys in the Championship. Work well off and with each other and are supported by 4 good forwards who don’t know the meaning of “an off-day”.         They all have lots of individual and different talents and yet they work brilliantly as a team. Our bench has 7 others on there as good as the first choice XI.

You will have a hard task tomorrow. Don’t expect to WIN without a BATTLE on your hands and blood on your boots . ……..

…and yet…as MUCH as I want us to win….and every BORO fan of the 5,500 LUCKY ones there tomorrow and the thousands at home……. will be cheering us on to win. OUR SUPPORT over the last couple of seasons has been fantastic.   We’re all going to enjoy the day BUT IF we don’t manage to defeat a great team at home…then we are all hoping that we’ll be back to see you again NEXT SEASON.

Is Joan COLLINS still a season ticket holder.. ??

How old is she now… ??

Anyone got her number… ??

Hope it’s a great game …….

141 comments on “Arsenal v the Smoggies – it is early yet

  1. 70 minutes, Alexis and Welbeck off, Rosicky and Walcott on


  2. 10 minutes left, Akpom on for Giroud


  3. Took one for the team, eddy – sign of a true pro (according to Sav).

    Bit flat second half – never in any danger apart from that header in injury time. Shame Ollie couldn’t get the match ball.
    Come on Preston.


  4. Ratings

    Szczesny 6 – very little to do, clean sheet must mean he is far better than Ospina, isn’t that how it works

    Chambers 7 – very calm performance
    Gabriel 6.5 – took a booking, looks calm, solid and determined, his inclusion means we can play a bit of a higher line
    Koscielny 6.5 – usual cool calm performance
    Gibbs 7.5 – very good both in defense and attack

    Flamini 6 – kept it simple
    Cazorla 8 – buzzing, we are lucky to have him

    Alexis 7 – tireless as usual
    Ozil 8.5 – we are privileged to have him
    Welbeck 7 – good work rate, well involved

    Giroud 8.5 – two very well taken goals, good work rate

    Rosicky 6 – some nice bits of play, great ball to set Theo away
    Walcott 6 – some nice bits of play, nearly scored
    Akpom 5 – not on long, looked eager

    Overall a game we almost totally dominated, really could have had several more goals


  5. Well that was so comfortable……I’m almost disappointed…..they way the media ‘bigged’ up the smoggies was expected I suppose. It’s about entertainment. Arsenal were just sumptuous, breathtaking, a joy to watch….all the reasons I’m a Positivista….what football dear guys and gals……woah….

    Liked by 2 people

  6. A good performance and a comfortable win. Very impressed with Gibbs today who, for a player who has been on the bench for 4-5 games, was very sharp. Mesut was very smooth and it was good to see him get the full 90 minutes in.

    Fair play to Boro – they stuck at it and did not panic. No cutting edge though.

    Another top top performance from Michael Leslie Dean. My faith in that boy is looking fully justified.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Özil was out of this world….what control…..

    I was hoping for more from Danny….he needs a boost…..Chambers was excellent too…Gabriel did well…..

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The one worry of the afternoon ?

    Santi’s hair

    Sort it out son


  9. Gooner Updates @GoonerUpdates · 21m 21 minutes ago
    Middlesbrough manager has asked Özil for his jersey at full time.


  10. https://pbs.twimg.com/media/B952wKDIQAEHHpF.png:large

    it seems all 11 Arsenal players were involved in our first goal

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Graham Hunter @BumperGraham · 38m 38 minutes ago
    #Messi triple means he’s equal with Cristiano Ronaldo with the most hat tricks in the history of La Primera Liga.


  12. ^^^Hahah he looked like some kind of exotic bird. He was definitely struttin his stuff today. I say it stays


  13. Will Benn @WengerBoy1 · 10m 10 minutes ago
    Ozil, Cazorla and Sanchez though. At Arsenal. Dreamland.

    Liked by 4 people

  14. Goonersphere.com @Goonersphere · 21s 22 seconds ago
    When asked if he instructed his players to stop Santi, Karanka replied “It is impossible, it’s impossible”

    Liked by 1 person

  15. through to the qf of fac so far are

    West Brom
    Aston Villa

    with Preston v Man utd game on tomorrow.


  16. We played well, and it was interesting that they seemed content to let us. As indeed did the referee The high energy press that knocks us out of our stride has quite an impact on the high pressers too. And on that sort of form we are very good indeed. Pity that it didn’t fall right for Welbeck, but he added a lot today. And although it is not fashionable to say so, I feel happier with Szcz back in goal. And Ozil is ridiculous.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. steww @ 4:52pm. Our Larry, MOTM by a whisker. Two years before the the rest of football world is falling over themselves over Giroud, you put it in writing.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Gabriel is the real deal guys. The tools are all there and Wenger will make him better. There is a hunger about him to do well that was very apparent today.

    Liked by 3 people

  19. Yup I was impresed by the new defender too, including the yellow card!. Good stuff.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. ‘col
    there’s never been any doubt that Deano knows the rules *IBSF* Better then most including his colleagues.


  21. Another ten minutes for Chuba.

    They’re all big games now, if they weren’t already. Palace away & Monaco next week.


  22. PG, thanks to Andy and his best mate (?) for the intro to the match!

    It goes to show that both the ex-Celtic managers, were not the “real deal”. Well done the smoggies (?), and I thought London was the big smoke.

    None of the Arsenal players, were playing to rule to-day!


  23. Anicoll @ 5:59pm – “Another top top performance from Michael Leslie Dean. My faith in that boy is looking fully justified.”
    Is that faint praise or are you a raving believer?


  24. well played mathieu flamini

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Must admit, I was like fh before the game – very nervous. But that vanished after the first 10 minutes. We were clearly going to have a good day.
    eduardo @ 7.02pm – ha ha


  26. Anyone want to write the match report?


  27. Arsenal fans, and not all of them WOBs, said Mike Dean would never make it Shotts, that he was not a referee who was Arsenal quality, that he was “deadwood”, that he was another bad recruitment decision from Arsene. He was even boo’ed on occasions.

    But those of us who saw the potential in the boy, like Wenger, knew Dean would come through in the end. Arsene knows.

    Oh yes I’m full of it tonight.


  28. Great game and result. Very comfortable for AFC – we kept them at arms length and only their goalkeeper playing a blinder kept the score respectable. One day OG will get that 3rd goal for his first hat trick for the club. But for me Mesut was the main man again. He has been on fire since his return. Alexis on the other hand was not at his best today. Poor decision making when he got the ball and sloppy passing that put us in trouble a couple of times. But it would be churlish to focus on that when he made that sumptuous assist for OG’s 2nd goal.

    I was so nervous pre-match as this was a potential banana skin and I guess I got swept up in the ‘boro hype. In the end they turned out to be pussy cats – they clearly were not ready for the quality of passing and movement on show today, but fair play to them they kept trying and did not resort to kicking the fancy dan foreigners!

    Liked by 4 people

  29. That was less of a challenge that we anticipated, sorry Mr Stoller.
    Thankfully the Boro players actually tried to compete with Arsenal in a game of decent football.
    No heavy tackling or dirty fouling from Boro, for that in thankful.
    Decent team , great fans, and a great chance to be playing us twice a season next time we meet.


  30. Wenger on the win, Giroud and Gabriel
    Arsène Wenger spoke to the media after Arsenal’s 2-0 win against Middlesbrough on Sunday. This is what he had to say:
    on the victory…
    We controlled the game from the first to the last minute. They had one chance at the end from a header, but overall I’m pleased with the way we attacked, the way we defended and with the way we played together with a good focus for 90 minutes. That’s basically it.

    on Olivier Giroud’s goals…
    The first goal is what we try to do in our game and our build-up. The second goal shows that the game belongs to the players as well because it’s a consequence of two players who respond quickly to a situation, analyse it quickly and do what they want to do well. That’s basically what it was. It’s a consequence of intelligence and technique.

    He has shown three important qualities – great concentration levels, great urgency to defend and good pace, especially on the recovery tackle he made in the box
    Wenger on Gabriel
    on whether Giroud’s importance is underestimated…
    I believe that he is a different player today than the guy who arrived here for two reasons. One, he understands what top-level football demands, works with a great concentration in training and he has improved tremendously on his mobility, his technical quality and of course his body is very strong. He uses it very well.

    on Alexis Sanchez…
    He had a good performance. I think he became stronger as the game went on but because I took a gamble with him, I took him off with 20 minutes to go. He needed the game as well.

    on whether Alexis put pressure on to play…
    He always wants to play. Everybody’s like that but he’s a bit more like that.

    on whether Alexis is more himself now…
    Yes. He didn’t miss too many games and what was important for him was to get through the game without injury.

    on Gabriel…
    It was interesting to observe Gabriel today because he played his first game in a cup game that we absolutely had to win. He has shown three important qualities – great concentration levels, great urgency to defend and good pace, especially on the recovery tackle he made in the box. On the other hand, he played a little bit with the handbrake on because he did not want to make a mistake. From what I’ve seen there’s a lot to come from him because technically he is good at passing as well.

    on playing with freedom going forward…
    The first thing that goes with confidence is the spontaneous activity in the game. Even if you are confident without the technical quality of Ozil and Cazorla, you can go together on the pitch. Even if you are confident I’m not sure you can repeat what they can do.

    on whether this is the most open FA Cup…
    Maybe the highest number of teams in the Premier League have gone out but we still have some big teams in there. Let’s wait for the draw.

    on how seriously Arsenal are taking the FA Cup…
    We have a week now to prepare for the Crystal Palace game and I did rotate today as well. I changed two defenders from our last game. It shows that everybody’s focused and has the quality to compete for places in the team. At the moment, in every single position, we have two very good players.

    on Danny Welbeck…
    It’s important that we feel strong at home because we have some tough opponents here. We still have to play Liverpool, Chelsea and Everton at the Emirates
    Arsène Wenger
    One of the reasons I bought him is that he can play central striker and wide. I believe he’s doing extremely well and is contributing to the team very well. He can play central striker like he did for a long time but the most natural centre forward we have is Giroud. All the strikers we have can play in different positions. The only one who can only play centre forward is Giroud, so when Giroud plays the others have to move out wide.

    on Jack Wilshere…
    He’s two weeks ahead of schedule. I had a hesitation to put him on the bench today but I thought I wanted him to have one more week of training at least.

    on Middlesbrough…
    They are a good side, well organised and if they had come back to 2-1 I think we would have struggled a little bit. They played good football with a good fluency in their game. We managed not to give them any chance today but overall you feel it is a good team.

    on nine home wins in a row…
    It’s important that you play well at home because we have plenty of home games in the Premier League. It’s important that we feel strong at home because we have some tough opponents here. We still have to play Liverpool, Chelsea and Everton at the Emirates and those will be very important games for us.

    Copyright 2015 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to http://www.arsenal.com as the source


  31. Eddy, I think Wenger’s post match comments might destroy the internet.


  32. Eddy, I think we all have access to Arsenal.com


  33. That too eddy,


  34. Fuck it, one shout out

    Liked by 1 person

  35. PG… glad eddy posted it… some of are lazy enough about going around to appreciate that so it was much appreciated.


  36. And Arsene not crowing about the performance of our recent recruit Dean

    That is subtle, Machiavelli could not teach Arsene anything, that is why the man is a genius

    Liked by 1 person

  37. 50 shades of giroud


  38. QueenofSuburbia @QueenofSuburbia · 11h 11 hours ago
    If we lower the price of season tickets, who benefits? Only those who already have them.

    Needs to go hand in hand with safe standing IMO.


  39. A5, you’re man doesn’t quite know all the rules maybe someone should teach him the advantage rule when it should be played and when it should be brought back.
    Ed, Alexis is a great player and his energy obviously rubs off on other players but 7 today really? Thought he rose well and was unlucky with his header but he was poor today.
    I thought it was a very professional performance today the flair was there but so was the discipline and now osssssspina has let in a couple of goals and the pole in goal has kept a clean sheet it must mean he is the best keeper again doesn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

  40. watching match of the day, my God how bad is that Bradford pitch, only one I’ve seen recently that is worse is Blackpool’s


  41. Wow now there’s an old poster from A Cultured Ending of an Era. Haven’t heard from QOS in ages.

    Some of us don’t visit the site, George. All it is is a racket designed to extort us even more they already do via clicks. Its run by Vengaar and Silent Stan single handedly with the goal of funneling even more money out of the club. I’m not paying them to read about my Arsenal. If that hacker group Anonymous were to be taken seriously they would take the site down immediately if they’re still to be considered the pro democracy/anti socialist crusaders against discrimination they claim they are.


  42. Well you Gooners certainly decided on the WRONG DAY to really turn on the “style”…BIG TIME against us Smoggies…… You guys know pretty damn well that there’s NOT many teams can live with you when you’ve all had your Weetabix for breakfast. I think EVERY SMOG who watched your performance today will have held their hands up and said “the bestter team won”…I would add to that…” QUITE EASILY”. TBH…I think WE were the victims of the “hype” rather than your boys. We DID stand off your boys as opposed to “having a go and getting into your faces as we did against CITEH”. Still….. I don’t think we had anything in our armoury today that would have stoped your mid-field. Cazorla is a top, top guy and he finds spaces and goes past players like our little JUNINHO used to all those years ago. I detect some faint praise for Michael Dean in some of the posts above…..is there a degree of cynicism on there also. I wonder why. ? It WAS a goal kick – not a corner but IMHO….it didn’t make an awful lot of difference to the result. So onward and upward as WE turn to BIRMINGHAM and our main PRIORITY – which hopefully will gave us the chance to meet you guys TWICE next season……unless you have a REALLY BAD RUN and lose every game betwixt NOW and MAY. Hope you continue in such sparkling form and shake up the Chelsea and CITEH lot …….. Arsene is one of my MANAGERIAL ICONS and IF in a couple of seasons he decides to leave The Emirates…I’d be happy to swap you for KARANKA………… and let AW see out his pension up here in the verdant pastures and sparkling waters of North Yorkshire. Please do your selves a favour when we play you next season…and come OOP NORTH for the day. treat yourselves to a weekend up here…..YOU will be MIGHTILY SURPRISED…… at how NICE this place is ….and the people are GREAT. HONESTLY. PLUS….. you get 42 smoggs for every £1 sterling when you enter the Republic of Teesside.

    All the best guys….

    BTW……. Joanie was waiting as I got out of the Taxi….. I’m glad GIROUX waited 20 minutes ….at least I can say I scored before HE did……. Go Joanie….she’s still ok for a working girl.. !!

    Bill……. x

    Liked by 5 people

  43. you’d think a goal scored that had seen every member of a team play the ball was an every game occurrence seeing as MOTD ignored it,


  44. A Cultured Ending of an Era.


    his technical quality and of course his body is very strong. He uses it very well.

    naughty coqlin…down boy!!!


  45. Hey George, give Eddy a break when he gives us the gospel of Vengaar. Some of us are too lazy to read the good book daily.

    My boy Loomer is on fire I see. End of An Era. Where did I read that again?


  46. if i were running a blog predicting catastrophy for 5 years and how arsenal/wenger do not do ‘optimal use of resources’ i would show dignity and come forward admitting i was wrong…… shut the blog down…and would leave the country and never come back… or talk football…ever again.

    eddy do you rate players in arseblog? i gave sceznhey a 1.5 !! last time i gave him 0.5 so he is improving the young pole.


  47. I think the problem in producing a post match write up of Boro is that the performance was “comfortable” – I see GP and I used the same word within a minute of each other post match above. We were not pushed as I expected to be pushed. We span and weaved and did not look at any time as though the result was in doubt. Nor on the other hand did it look like we were going to unleash a tsunami of goals to sweep Boro away and the opposition clung on and took the blows as they came in. If it had been boxing it was a clear points win. Not even Dean could produce a speck of grit to stimulate the creative oyster.

    So where does that leave us ?

    Well obviously tonight e shall be looking to proud Preston to do some terminal damage to the Mancs and push LvG nearer the ledge from which we all heartily trust he will be propelled in the months to come. Having had a bit of a scare at Cambridge and looked poor at Yeovil it us difficult to believe they will not take this game more seriously but they look like a team short of confidence. I hope Preston get stuck in and get an early goal.

    Pre match we have the draw for the 6th round and as long as it is a home game it is pretty much irrelevant who we get. Trips to Anfield or Trafford Park would obviously be more difficult but as we showed in our recent Etihad adventure there is no reason we cannot shine on the road, as we do at home.

    Liked by 1 person

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