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Arsenal Versus Hull: Credit Where It’s Due

Manchester United have provided us with an admirable cast of pantomime villains over the years. Defectors from within our ranks like Persie and Stapleton, outrageous talents who preferred history to remember them as diving, whining cry babies like the lesser Ronaldo, and revolting cheats like Nistelrooy. Despite these and many others and despite Ferguson’s corrupt relationship with officials and the investment the whole football establishment has openly admitted having in United’s success, there are still some people associated with that club who I find impossible to detest. David Beckham is one and Steve Bruce is the other.

Why Steve Bruce? Well, in a world where the doughty English manager is lauded over the sly foreign coach Bruce has never pandered to the media and it’s disgusting hate campaign against Arsène Wenger. Far from it. Bruce recognises, as many alleged Arsenal fans do not, that Arsène Wenger’s achievements since arriving in North London are nothing short of astonishing. Here are some of his more recent comments

“… quite remarkable, he’s had input in the stadium – what a stadium that is. Top four for however long, three Premier Leagues [titles], FA Cups, the final again, but still people question him … How he can get stick is beyond me.”

that’ll do me. Bruce has always been gracious in defeat against us and I for one will be eternally grateful to his players for squandering a two goal lead in the FA Cup final last May.

While I had to watch last week’s match holding my nose and turning away whenever the television cameras showed the visitors bench, tonight’s game ought, in light of the far more palatable opposition players and management, to be a more enjoyable one. I certainly don’t expect it to be an easier one. This is the time of year when teams scrabbling for purchase in the Stygian underworld of the Premier League’s bargain basement often provide tougher opposition than those with their heads in the clouds. Look at West Brom’s refusal to lie down under a veritable battering at Old Trafford on Saturday. Yes they rode a phenomenal wave of luck but they still needed a depth of self belief and will to keep clinging on until the ninety fourth minute. This was similar to the battling bravado Burnley produced against us recently and I don’t doubt that Hull will be similarly determined. It is human nature for competitive people to fight harder when their backs are to the wall. Much more impressive than motivating a squad on the brink of relegation is pushing one for a less tangible goal, say second place in the league. Luckily enough Arsène isn’t just a master tactician his motivational skills are self evident as well.

I don’t know if you watched the recent documentary about the Invincibles, I suspect you did. There was a telling comment repeated by the players that once the title was won it was Arsène alone who not only had the belief that the team could go unbeaten to the end but who single handedly forced the players to believe it as well. They had won the title, they were champions and as all champions should they had won in style with many a flourish and had earned the respect of the footballing world. Then that pesky human nature reared its head once more and whispered into the players ears ‘no one expects you to give a hundred percent from now on – you’ve done your bit, why not put your feet up and relax’. Arsène had other ideas. How he dragged the performances and results out of a carefree, elated bunch of lads who felt they’d already conquered the mountain is the stuff of legend. It is precisely those same motivational powers we need now that the disappointment of missing out on the title will have settled over the club. Like anyone with at least half a brain the manager and his players will not have given up until the title was a factual impossibility. You win nothing by giving up. Now however they must put that behind them, they must forget all about impending trips to Wembley and give every bit as much effort to the conquest of Hull City in the league tonight as they did in overcoming them on that sensational day in May last year.

We all hoped that yesterday would bring us a little joy. West Brom whetted our appetite with their blend of heroism and outrageous good fortune and if Palace could dish out more of the same and Spurs defeat an under strength Man City then we were on course for a fantastic bank holiday. Alas that script was torn up and replaced with one all too familiar. I have to hope and believe that the players aren’t affected by the same sense of anti climax that Sunday’s results have draped over me. I know many people were celebrating St Totteringham’s eve after our so called rivals inept attempt to scrape even a draw yesterday. Indeed it does seem an awfully long time ago that the annual gibberish about a shift in power was being spouted by Spurs’ delusional fans and their friends in the media. I cannot think of a single other instance of complete dominance in sport that has been so consistently misrepresented by so many supposed experts. It represents nothing more than a triumph of blind prejudiced hope over simple truth. But then when the likes of Jamie Carragher are allowed to vomit baseless nonsense about Arsenal spending more than Gazprom Fulham we shouldn’t be surprised. It was just another lie which we all know will soon be repeated by the desperate and the hateful among our fan base.

Supporters may anticipate St Totts with their usual good natured fervour but for the players and manager there is still much work to be done. Finishing above even one of the financially doped clubs is still a hell of an achievement and one well worth fighting for. There would be no shame in finishing beneath both of them, of course not. With their obscene expenditure they ought both to romp home every time. Arsenal shouldn’t really have a prayer of finishing above either of them but if we can do so then along with another cup final appearance we can surely count this season a success. And that’s before we get onto the nature of the mountain we’ve had to climb. I’m not referring just to the sheer volume of injuries we’ve suffered, it is more the way the curse has struck at such inopportune moments. Look at Aaron. Just as an example. We were all saying how he had at last rediscovered his scoring boots and the very next game he was out again. Alex Oxelaide-Chamberlain had just started to show the confidence and skill which suggested he was about to realise his potential when he was injured. Then he recovered and exactly the same thing happened again. We have had, in the past few weeks, a glimpse of an Arsenal side with an unremarkable number of both injured players and of players newly released from the doctors care. Just look at what that side has achieved. Give Arsène one season with no more than the normal level of mishaps that any club might expect and you never know, we may be aiming one place higher than we are this year. For now though let’s focus on testing Steve Bruce’s magnanimity to the full and let’s see if we can’t force him to be gracious in defeat just one more time.

About steww

bass guitar, making mistakes, buggering on regardless.

152 comments on “Arsenal Versus Hull: Credit Where It’s Due

  1. Monreal has such classy feints and touches, albeit, slowly. He’s great.

    Ooh, no handball. Hand not in natural-un position, no doubt.

    Here come Theo

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I eagerly await the debate about arm/hand natural positions…heh for who the bell tolls…

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  3. surely that should have been a penalty for a clear shove on wilshere

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  4. It was an instinctive save from the Hull defender. You’ll never see a clearer penalty.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dont be shocked edy …we didnt get the one where a hand stops a goal… lol

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  6. Push wasn’t clear to my mate, Lee, or anybody associated with honesty.

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  7. And yes the shove on Jack would be a free kick anywhere else on the pitch

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  8. That were cup final stylee hand balls and pushes. They. Don’t. Count.

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  9. Tough for Theo., Getting so little football always coming on cold.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Drat. Alexis should’ve had his hattrick

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  11. FT: Hull 1-3 Arsenal

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Konscielny mvp of the century

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Good enough. Containment in the second half but we still nearly scored a few more. Great to see Jack back and looking good too. Hope Aaron is OK. Three points and I believe happy St Totts.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Three points whoop whoop!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. And a happy Feast of St Totteringham to you too Stew, and all you other lucky Positivistas who have a ticket on the sunshine bus.

    Liked by 5 people

  16. Hull with only one effort on target, Arsenal dominated this game, how we did not score more I’m not sure

    Liked by 2 people

  17. the power shift in North London continues unabated

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Josh James @JoshJJames78 · 8m 8 minutes ago
    Arsenal have finished above Spurs 20 times in the past 20 seasons. Tottenham have finished ahead of Arsenal 10 times in the past 48 seasons

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  19. Rantetta, Alexis should learn to pass then he would have had a hat trick of assist’s. However it only goes to show what a wonderful mix of players we have. Hull didnt play badly( although mason was up to his old tricks again and they should of been down to 10 men on 29 minutes) but we were very strong. It seems the end of the season has come a little to early hopefully we can grow again to even greater heights next season.
    Happy St totterings confirmed, top four just about guarenteed, one win away from automatic qualification to CL and three wins and a draw for second place, were on the up COYG.

    Liked by 3 people

  20. Orbinho @Orbinho · 10m 10 minutes ago
    Since Arsene Wenger arrived in north London, Arsenal are the only team Spurs have not finished above in the whole Football League.

    Liked by 3 people

  21. Missed the game due to my ISP’s server going down. Never mind – followed it on Guardian’s MBM (or more like 5MB5M) where Giroud never got a mention until he went off for Walcott.
    Happy St Totts everyone – how many years is that now?

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  22. Great goals to bless all who follow the glorious Arsenal and celebrate St. Totteringham’s, the away fans singing their hymns in good voice.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Sorry, I was wrong about the rain. BBC prediction, what dyou expect. Mason as expected except he actually carded at least 2 Hull players.no penalty of course.
    We can’t have that.

    Sumptuous passing in the second half, though I must point out a no look pass from Coq, that went… nowhere. It was only Stand out due to everyone else being so good, but for me, that was made up for by Coq landing on someone’s leg, and of course, his excellent play throughout.

    Giroud got a jolly good kicking. Alexis done his stuff, as did Santi, and Bellers.
    Mert just stood there and intercepted, it seems. Ospina should get a pay cut. He done nowt. All our other players must’ve been excellent to, though I can’t remember who they are.

    Well done Arsenal.
    Forward, etc.

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  24. A or B
    I see what you mean about Alexis’s passing,but would we not be further accused of Walking the ball into the net, and hasn’t Sanchez scored important goals by Not passing (unless it’s into the net).

    I note that when Alexis brought the ball out of defence, he drag players with him who’d either foul him, or would pass back or sideways to set off another attack/slow it down and stroll around. I concede, he does sometimes miss-pass, but then – who doesn’t?

    I remain pissed he didn’t score his third goal (which was also a missed pass – into the net),

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  25. Santi still looking for more goals from open play, it’ll come. He got the Newscorp MOTM, it’s hard for others like Rosicky to get in atm

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  26. I’m going to make a bold prediction

    50% of pundits and football writers will predict Arsenal will not finish in the top 4 next season

    all right it is not a bold prediction, we all expect it from them, don’t we

    Liked by 2 people

  27. When we have finished second, which we will of course, no-one in their right mind is going to say we won’t finish in the top four next season. OK, many football correspondents aren’t in their right minds but all the same …
    And 20 years above Totts in succession – that’s worth a large nightcap.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. A claim that Welbeck walked out when named a sub, if true he can fuck right off and if its not true then this jackson clark can fuck right off

    Jackson Clark @JacksonFOXSoc · 1h 1 hour ago
    Danny Welbeck’s agent told me he is definitely NOT injured. Refused to sit on bench after broken promises by Wenger. After team news was known, Welbeck stormed out of the changing room shouting, and I quote: “This is AIDS!”. Mertesacker intervened.

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  29. the commentators were scum. pushing hull on. do they do the same when chelsea plays? anyone watches their games? i think they dont…just cover the shit with lots of sugar. at 3-1 they were getting giddy and excited at hull causing us a nightmare. some of it could be agenda, some of it because of laziness and repeating cliches of arsenal being soft etc. and the length the media have gone to convince us that chelsea are brilliant…put a fucking sock in it… get’em ivan!!

    Liked by 1 person

  30. i cant beleive danny has done what youre saying..i need video evidence

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  31. Positively Arsenal @Blackburngeorge · 6m 6 minutes ago
    Seriously, as if Danny’s agent would make that public. Utter utter tosh and blatant lying. Whoever tweeted it is an attention seeking turd.

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  32. worst dive of the season and it won a free kick from Mason

    Liked by 1 person

  33. 3-1 it would have been greedy to look for more. Great performance from starting XI, Jack looked sharp when he came on, Theo still makes very good runs.
    A good night’s work.
    UTA.

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  34. wenger on Danny Welbeck…
    It’s a question of days, it’s an inflamed knee.
    Read more at http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20150504/wenger-on-the-win-wilshere-and-top-four#2sJEm5IhwUqmsprh.99

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  35. Excellent performance. Happy St Totts day. Mason is a joke, a joke beamed worldwide, what an advert for our refs. The Italians must be looking at our refs and thinking…why did they just pick on us?

    Liked by 2 people

  36. A great comment from twitter:
    “Koscielny injured for 3 seconds and we concede.”
    – wilshere_fan@MonrealSideFoot
    So true.

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  37. Freddie. @AFC_Freddie · 21m 21 minutes ago
    Brilliant. @MailSport gave Özil a 6 for his performance tonight. Just to put that into perspective, Huddlestone got the same.

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  38. Eddie: The Mail is truly aids.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. yeah shotta, its a racist rag, they don’t even try and disguise their agenda towards AFC and especially Ozil.

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  40. Josh James @JoshJJames78 · 4h 4 hours ago
    Kolo Toure, Martin Keown and Sol Campbell are the only centre backs to play more often under Arsène Wenger than Laurent Koscielny (200)

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  41. Josh James @JoshJJames78 · 3h 3 hours ago
    Arsenal finish ahead of Spurs for 20th season in a row. Last time AFC finished below Spurs for more than 2 consec seasons was during 1960s

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  42. I loved Santi in the deep play maker role.

    Nice to see Jackie back.

    Happy St. Totts.

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  43. Gains – Re Santi: Yet there were many of the so-called experts in our fan base who earlier this season were ready to railroad him out of the club because of a slow start after the World Cup. Up to this very moment one prominent blogger is giving credibility to proxy rumors that Santi is going back to Spain at the end of the season. There is no excuse given Santi has been one of the best in the league since he joined us 2 years ago, he is still under contract and Wenger is in love with him long before he was able to snatch him out of the clutches of the disenchanted Sheik who was bankrolling Malaga. There is no excuse for this type of nonsense.

    Liked by 2 people

  44. what a terrific footballer

    Liked by 3 people

  45. he clearly looks faster and fitter than immediately after the world cup. Next season is ours baby!

    Liked by 1 person

  46. Another very decent away victory against a relegation threatened side motivated by a former red manc, officiated by one of the worst. Yes, a very decent win.

    Great article Stew, only just been able to read it but genuinely thought-provoking on top of the typically classy erudition. In particular your remarks on Wenger’s motivational abilities spring to mind, particularly with reference to the all-conquering Invincibles side.

    Jamie Carragher appears now to be saying we have joined the Top 3 – Chelsea, City and AFC. Something of an about-turn, it must be said …

    For me, the post-injury phase of the season from around December (roughly) to now, has felt like the end of an era. Yes, the era of transistion from the remnants of the Fabregas/Persie side. But also the coming of age of an incredibly effective squad, a combination of stellar buys and internally developed talent, all joining together to knit into a team with genuine PL Championship potential. Assuming, and hoping the 13 month black run of injuries is behind us, then 2015-16 wil almost certainly be seen as the end of transition and the real start of the new era.

    My only real regret is the number of AFC fans who managed to disgrace themselves in the intervening period from the end of the Invincibles. No doubt they will be amongst the first to glory in Tottenham and Liverpool’s failure to escape mid-table mediocrity during this time.

    Yet had those same fans had their way over the last 10 years, this is exactly where Arsenal would most likely, on balance, have ended up.

    Liked by 2 people

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