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Bright, With Occasional Early Cloud

Morning Positivistas from a greyish Monday in Norfolk.

I take your mood, like mine, will be a little more elevated this morning going into the week, buoyed by three points taken at the Ems, earned in fact through a combination of some resolute organised defending and two instances of hitting the back of the net when the half opportunity presented itself.

The media microscope and cameras were on Olivier but my eye was taken very much to our back five who I thought played a blinder.

Kosc was quite obviously in charge, directing, pointing, shouting and taking a necessary card. Never put a foot wrong all afternoon in spite of Everton’s front men trying to run straight and hard at us. Gibbs and Hector did their defensive jobs quietly, thoroughly, no fuss and very few errors. Ospina pulled off a couple of good stops and a timely intervention. Who says ‘keepers cannot be clever footballers too?

Our new centre back made his first PL start. Social media was its usual demented self, as Gabriel first made an error by misjudging the bounce, then a skewed header, at which point he had been written off as a worse signing than Mikel Silvestre. Then in the 37th minute had performed a perfect retrieving tackle on Lukaku which may have turned the game. After that Gabriel had been anointed as the answer to all our previous defensive wobbles and poor old Per might as well pack his lederhosen.

Anyway to brighten your morning have one last look, before the PL insist it is taken down;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihUPjkmE0A0

After those few opening flutters I thought our defenders played better and better as the game went on. Everton pressed and I was impressed with the quality of the crossing from their young Garbutt, but for all the pressing and puff at no time did I think we would crack and concede. Once we were ahead, the game was won.

Young Francis Coquelin may have a sore nose this morning but he has done himself no harm in gilding his reputation in the eyes of supporters (well this supporter anyway) for his willingness to battle on with a broken nose. There is talk of surgery which may rob us of him for at least the midweek game. My recollection of broken noses is however the insertion and deft twisting of steel rods to refashion the nasal sculpture which, although it will make his eyes water, should have him back on Wednesday.  And he can wear a mask which, in my opinion, is an accoutrement that every young footballer should aspire to.  The Telegraph captured the original coming together nicely.

Francis-Coquelin_3216270b

I was not expecting a classic game, but a difficult contest against a side who came into the game on the back of a Euro win, but a poor domestic record. Just one win in twelve PL matches Mr Martinez is relegation form, and you know it. Everton would have been delighted with a point, even that though was never a likely outcome. It was not a sparkling performance from us, but intelligent, measured football. The sort of performance on which a successful run-in can be securely founded.

While Roberto may therefore be justifiably feeling a little sweaty at the collar this morning, our form, since mid December, is the best in the PL bar none. I was a bit surprised to see we had won 28 points from a possible 36. I had not realised we had been quite so effective. Amazing what happens when we have most (although not all) players fit and firing. If we kept that up over a season we would have 89 points.

Makes you think doesn’t it?

Enjoy yer week!!

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62 comments on “Bright, With Occasional Early Cloud

  1. Excellent write Andrew. I agree with your assessment. I think we have an excellent CB now in Gabriel. I may have only seen him play two games so far but he fills me with loads of confidence…..

    Everton are an enigma. They are a very good team. They surely will climb the table…

    Liked by 3 people

  2. well am glad Gabriel settled down… getting over a bad debut day can be tedious at times and maybe per does need the rest.

    Lets just keep winning our games and see where it takes us

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Great write-up An5… the accurate take on social media being it’s “demented self” gimme a wry grin. That’s the social media protocol we’ve come accustomed to, so we can just smile. Just a shout out to Özil, he was the wizard yesterday. But we all know it’s just trickery. The hand, or in this case, the foot is quicker than the eye. The twitter pundits still can’t figure out what they’ve missed.

    May we keep our momentum going vs QPR…

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Lovely stuff Andrew,I thought Gabriel did well,1 hiccup aside,the lads at the back did well,roll on Wednesday!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Good morning Anicoll.
    Yesterday’s win tastes even sweeter today and I do love a clean sheet so I do.

    Arsenal’s last 15 league games: Won 11, Drawn 1, Lost 3.
    34 out of a possible 45 points.

    We have plenty of winnable home and away games left, and taking points off Liverpool, Chelsea and Utd. would cement a very decent end of season finish to the league.

    Onwards to Loftus Road.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Spot on Andrew, very decent post afer a very decent win.

    Was glad I was nowhere near Twitter etc during the game. As Gabriel made his first couple of errors I was imagining the meltdown going on in cyber-space but I had high hopes he’d make amends soon enough and he surely did with that worldie of a tackle we’ve all by now been able to see at least a dozen times – certainly worthy of limitless re-runs such was the Bobby Mooresque nature of the crucial interception.

    Still the usual tired old nonsense about Ozil being spouted by the usual, tired old observers who are now so skilled at searching out the negative they’ve forgotton to celebrate the positive. Even when it slaps them in the face with a couple of timely assists as Mesut managed on Sunday.

    Looking forward to QPR and given the proximity of this fixture to the weekend, maybe a Monday night appointment in Manchester might not be such a bad thing …

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Gabriel with a slide tackle from the Bobby Moore scrapbook. Good stuff.
    I think that he might have been the defender that they were looking for!

    Could we be witnessing a little bit of rotation here? The BFG back in for the away trip to QPR and Zamora etc. with Gabby possibly getting another start at the Slurgusbowl (OT)?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. One point yesterday that went unremarked was a pretty flat performance from Alexis and an early substitution, well as early as Arsene ever gets anyway.

    After this efforts since September he has had a little blip of late but i dont think that should be any cause for concern, or even surprise.

    By his own high standards it was a 5 out of 10 game though. The expression on the player’s face however when he was taken off was one of absolute thunder. Not directed as far as I could see at the manager or the bench for taking him off but at his own disappointing afternoon.

    Given there are so many experts around I forget that players are probably the harshest critics of their own performance, particularly very good players like Sanchez. I suspect Sanchez will be putting himself through a hard couple of days to get the blade sharp again.

    Beware you Hoops.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. By my understanding the anti-Ozil gibberish is simply put out there for the AAA to consume and repeat. In the tradition of all the anti-AFC coverage that we have observed going back in my lifetime to ’91 and beyond? With a (un)healthy dose of xenophobia/jingoism (Ozil) thrown in too.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. I was surprised to see Alexis subbed yesterday but not because he was due a rest but more down to the rareness of the event. I was more surprised that Theo didn’t get on but of course delighted Tomas turned up to deliver the icing on the hard-won cake.

    Not seen any of the side-swippers credit Whengar with getting this particular substitution absolutely spot on.

    Like

  11. IMO Alexis has been carrying a niggle/knock since he got clumped (three or four times) coming on at Brighton, and then the early clump in the following game. He’s only human!

    A distant concern is the Copa america (this coming summer?) and a lack of a proper break and re-charge.

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  12. a great tackle..fuck you lukaku…

    now we must concentrate all our voodoo powers on them chavs

    Like

  13. cazorla too..second half …bossed it!

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  14. sorry have i missed something……why are the media and country not laughing their arses off at the chavs manager and their players world cup celebrations?

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  15. matic putting on a kit…mou phoning his wife… PMSL……

    i hiope you all realise that fi we want the end of this we need to win the title of them THIS YEAR!

    therefore …ozil ramsey and jack have got to make sure that cesc does not celebrate any league titles…..

    we agreed this in the summer lads. you promised us ….arrrrgghhhh

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  16. and because 12 points gap with 13 games left are difficult to bridge

    at the very least….

    when they come to the emirates……. revenge and a lesson of things to come.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Yeas it could be an interesting afternoon Hunter Sunday the 26th April when Jose comes to visit. 4pm – put it in your diary.

    On that day five games to go in the season for us, and presumably the same for CFC and anyone chasing Chelsea in the PL. Fifteen points to play for at KO time, 12 points at the final whistle.

    This morning they sit just five points ahead of Citeh, though with a game in hand.

    Now Hunter I want to you to get down on your knees, and join me, in praying that there is NO QUESTION at all on the afternoon of any guards of honour, trophy presentations, or anything similar.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Lovely write-up A.

    May I point out that BFG, Alexis, Özil and others didn’t have a break last summer, and that they’re used to winter, as well as summer – breaks. In view of the regular kickings, I appreciate their efforts and I’m amazed they’ve continued to do so very well.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Nice one Andrew.

    Perfectly adequate and sound performance yesterday. Only one person out of 60,000 odd folk there and a few million watching on TV , saw the option to make that pass to Thomas for the second goal:
    fortunately that one person plays for us and was there to make it.

    Liked by 6 people

  20. anicoll5
    March 2, 2015 at 11:47 am

    any guards of honour

    whats that?

    Like

  21. “A guard of honour is a ceremonial event practiced in the military and sports throughout the Commonwealth of Nations as a mark of respect.

    In the military in countries of the Commonwealth of Nations, a guard of honour is a ceremonial practice to honour domestic or foreign dignitaries, the fallen in war, or a ceremony for public figures who have died. In military weddings, especially those of commissioned officers, a guard, comprising usually of service members of the same branch, form the Saber arch.

    In cricket, the guard of honour is used to celebrate the achievement of a player (usually a batsman). Normally used during a player’s final game, it has also been used when a player breaks a world record.

    In association football, in recent years teams have shown their appreciation to the champions of their own division. This involves the players of one team applauding the league winners (the other team) as they appear onto the pitch. The applauding team forms two lines to make a corridor, and the league winners run through the corridor, single file.”

    absolutely not. i dont care about the commonwealth traditions …its silly and wrong…. its a military salute for gods sake..its for serious events/moments/personalities…not for chavs hitting the lotto and their gypsy leader….

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  22. as a mark of respect? AHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAA

    Like

  23. all 60,000 of us in the ground to fill up a 50ml bottle each of piss and all 60,000 throw it at the gypsy and his squad as they come out. we will tkae the pizzagate to another level we will.

    guard of honour alright ! ..thats my respect ….

    Like

  24. haha in cricket i see a picture they hold the bats up like swords…theyre watching too much game of thrones …. heh…..what do footballers hold? shinpads? ……..

    Like

  25. eduardo !!!! …dont surround him like he is our meat ….let him say …we all say…you say, he says, she says …

    Like

  26. i am a shameless copy-cat

    “You know what, we’re all very happy now. Punny and joky and whatnot. But I’m going to say this pretty often now: don’t over-react to defeats, stay calm after victories. Will people give credit to Arsene for yesterday’s ”tactical masterclass”? I don’t think so. Jose had the same 2-0 against Spurs – that was genius, wasn’t it. We hardly concede off set pieces anymore, and score a lot from them. Any credit to Arsene for this? I don’t think so. For all those who pointed out after the Monaco game that the one constant in Arsenal collapses is Arsene, also point out that the one constant in our seventeen consecutive champs league qualifications and qualifying leagues is Arsene. As are our 12 odd trophies, 1 UCL final and multiple UCL QFs. If it were that easy, why aren’t Spurs doing it? Or everton? Arsenal are a much bigger club, you say. Nottingham f***** forest are in Division 1 (or 2). Liver **** pool have qualified once for the champs league. Won two trophies in the last ten years. Why is Arsene held to a different standard than anyone else? City and Chelsea have high expectations because of the money, nothing else. Manu outspent Arsenal for a decade, they had Cristiano f*** Ronaldo for their trophies. Arsenal have finished 2nd to 4th with an average spend of 8th highest. The last two seasons when we’ve had money we’ve spent, and I expect us to come back in a big way going forward. It ain’t easy guys. It ain’t easy. Anyway, the point is don’t over react to losses and wins. It’s been a good season, Arsene has built a good squad, we’re on our way with another addition or two to a great next five years. Don’t over react to one-offs like Monaco, look at the big picture and our league 2nd best record over the last two months. We’re four points away from City in 2nd.”

    Like

  27. shameless copy cat x 2

    “I am more frustrated by the media and my fellow fans than i am by the team.
    Arsene is definitely held to a different benchmark – he’s bookish and intelligent and doesn’t feed the media frenzy – he was first pitched against Ferguson who terrified the press and now against Mourinho who has charmed them with his soundbites and his controversy. We may be fourth but Van Gaal, Rodgers, Pellegrini all seem to be bit players in the Manager commentary.

    Its all personal and all designed to pressurize and destabilize us – the media are fed up with Arsenal in the top 4 – they minimize the top four for arsenal but wax lyrical when free spending Liverpool or Sp*rs get anywhere close.

    Olivier Giroud goes from hero to zero to hero in three games.
    Ozil the same.

    Wenger is never responsible for our wins but always for our defeats.

    And we the fans eat this absolute shit that Martin Samuel and those pen wielding chavs dish out day after day.

    The truth is that Chelsea and the media darling out spend everybody get an absolute free ride when it comes to the referees. but like ferguson before him, jose can seemingly bitch publically about them and then benefit from the fear that that media pressure puts on the refs.
    oh and Mourinho is a cunt”

    someone with an account to arseblog go and tell him to use his blog’s influence to PROMOTE the above and make sure its IN THE FACES of all sports media EVERY TIME.

    if ivan cant do it with his resources and personnel then its our job to do it as fans.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. Thanks Andy Nic: just the job and good work from the defenders indeed. Most goals come from initial defensive errors that are compounded by another one so it was good to see Ospina bailing out Gabriel, Gabriel bailing out Kos. Every once in a while an undefendable goal comes along and there’s not much can be done about that. I do think it is interesting though that Liverpool owed their win against City to two wonderful strikes from long distance, whereas most of the goals we have scored recently have tended to come from closer in. I am not sure how often you can rely on shots from outside the area and for that reason am not as convinced that Liverpool are playing quite as well as I am led to believe by some in the press.

    Like

  29. Good write-up anicoll5. Another amazing thing about Gabriel’s tackle is the way that Lukaku (all credit to him) tries to avoid getting his legs tangled up. Can you imagine Rooney, Gerrard or one of a dozen of Maureens’ foot-draggers in that situation?

    Liked by 5 people

  30. Just an after-thought: maybe it is precisely Lukaku’s unwillingness to go down like a ton of shit that made Moaninho sell him. He doesn’t play the Moaninho way.

    Liked by 5 people

  31. dk gooner you are correct…

    but you and me being correct in here makes no fucking difference when the poeple who actually make the decisions let that gypsy cunt get away with it

    how do we change that? im open to suggestions….

    is it something ivan should focus on you feel? or anyone else? do you all believe that a club should have some ‘bastard’ to deal with media, f.a and the various other shit a football club has to deal with…this is not a rosy business…..

    is it something the fans should be doing? and which fans? we have those who are thick and stupid but still have blogs mics and cameras to breed further division and then we have fence sitting blogs which dont want to upset the order and prefer neutrality for the clicking….

    is it a case of a bunch of lone wolves going and staging a v for vendetta ?

    what do we do? how do we get rid of it?

    Like

  32. actually…why isnt ivan on the sky panel’s with video evidence and match to match statistics EMPHASISING the times the refs fuck with arsenal ?

    is it a case of “we are above it” …well im not… name and shame them

    take the file/dossier to uefa if necessary…5 billion product yes? where is kroenke? will he protect his investments on the pitch or leave it all for wenger to sort out ?

    how about our beloved journos…are they going to write something in favour of the team/club they support or will they continue to troll the arsenal fans

    what shoud l i think of that then? that we have stupid fans …that the public is stupid in general? that we are afraid and pussies and dont want to take them on ? that we are willing to bend over? NO

    we erect our cannon and FIRE!

    Like

  33. fuck you cesc fabregas..you too john terry and you certainly jose mourinho and fuck you frau merkel too

    when do we play monaco?

    Like

  34. why dont john cross or amy run an article

    ARE WE REALLY GOING TO LET A CLUB OF RACISTS AND CHEATS WITH MONEY FROM RUSSIA TO MOCK AS LIKE THIS?

    A CAPTAIN WHO RACIALY ABUSES FELLOW PROS AND SHAGS HIS TEAMMATES WIFE?

    A STRIKER WHO STAMPS AND SPITS IN THE NAME OF ‘COMPETITIVE EDGE’

    ++++++++++++++

    how about wilson samuel and dumbah running one about

    “chavs celebrate like they won the world cup…please see photomontage for the laughs…yes mourinho actually cried”

    +++++++++

    arsenal fna tv? how about them? ooohhhhh thats right …they are more interested in interviewing claude from the asylum …..

    Like

  35. St/ Paddy’s Day, Hunter – March 17th to the un-green amongst you.

    I have a sneaking suspicion Big Sam has a surprise or two still left up his sleeve this season. Upton Park on a cold Wednesday night might just find the Irons fired up for a game.

    Chelsea still have to play Utd. Arsenal and Liverpool, however the rest of their games look winnable.

    Like

  36. st patrick’s day. thats when we celebrate the power of the clove yes? panathinaikos and all…molly malone’s? , james joyse etc etc? yes iv been there plenty of times

    Like

  37. larry bird , boston celtics, zelico obradovic, 3d, stojan vrankovic ! paris 96, thesaloniki 00, Bologna 02, athens 07, berlin 09, barcelona 11 – power of the clove –

    you were there too? no?

    Like

  38. Thank you Andrew. I have nothing to add to your perfect assessment.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Sunderland’s midfielder Adam Johnson has reportedly been arrested on suspicion of having sex with an under-age girl(15).

    Like

  40. If the MUFC game goes to a replay the game will be on April 7th

    Like

  41. that lazy sod Ozil only went and covered more ground than any other Arsenal player in both of the last two games – Monaco and Everton, and he also sprinted more often than any other player in the Everton game, stealing a living I tell you.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. No ‘nicking’ i think it was … unlike honest van persie who decided one day ‘what? no fergie. I aint playing no more’ woodward : ‘but youre on 200k a week man’ – ‘no, i wont some teammates are moving in my space , sell that twat chikito and bring in luis or else i leavd and let the world know that after fergie…theres basically no plan here to match my ambition..adios’. ‘

    Like

  43. Ramsey’s back in 1st team training, is it too early for tomorrow night’s QPR game?
    Perhaps he may feature at Old Trafford, but I don’t know who we’d drop from the current starting XI.

    I looks like no RVP next Monday night. It’s a shame shame, all the bile can be focused on Rooney and the lumbering microphone.

    Like

  44. People who don’t get Ozil don’t get:
    ‘Slow is smooth, smooth is fast’

    Liked by 1 person

  45. who the hell is mcindoe?

    Like

  46. Kyle Ebecilio was touted as the next wesley shcneider in fm …where is he ?

    Like

  47. Except when Corona is having a bad game in attack, he will track back and get physical.

    Whereas, Miyaichi is so languid that Twente are playing with 10 men when he is on the field.

    Miyaichi plays with no intensity, lacks energy and it is as if his pre-game pump-up song is Gary Jules – Mad World.

    People who don’t get Ozil don’t get:
    ‘Slow is smooth, smooth is fast’

    is it possible to still get ozil, and just recognise his strengths and weaknesses..or do you lose points in the arsenal-o-meter?

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  48. Wenger: “Ramsey back in the squad. We have to check Coquelin(if he plays he will have to wear a protective mask). Flamini will miss next 2 games. Wilshere out for a few days.”

    Like

  49. damn it ! get well soon matthieu!!

    Like

  50. A Mask !!!

    Brilliant

    Like

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