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Arsenal Versus Lyon: Games Don’t Come Any Bigger Than This

Action Shot

As the transfer crazed hordes follow the script fed to them by a click hungry media and demand more money be spent, and while they crave another Arsenal player be thrown on the beach to make room for a newer, more shiny and above all more expensive model, the rest of us, with an appetite for football rather than furthering the careers of a morally bankrupt, corrupt and lying fourth estate, have something to watch today. True it is only a public training session but there is a sense that this friendly tournament might matter a little more than usual as the first game of the season approaches.

This is largely due to the fact that our final warm up is being hyped as a proper match with a real trophy at stake. Both concepts are of course nonsense. The Charity Shield has never been a bona fide competitive game nor in any way an indication of a teams fortunes once the real games begin. This year however, the opposition we face is managed by the man who wishes more than any other to inherit Ferguson’s crown. The man who, above all else, longs to be regarded as Arsène’s bête noire and the new force of evil in the world of football now that the true prince of darkness has become a fading memory. He fails of course. Rather than a second rate Sir Alex, Mourinho is merely a richer Phil Brown, a wealthier Pulis. Hateful, silly and representing all that is antithetical to Arsène’s vision of how beautiful the beautiful game might be, his presence in the dugout next week has nonetheless added spice to an otherwise meaningless encounter and that in turn winds up the scrutiny under which today’s match must be played. There is a feeling that we are warming up for Wembley rather than three games away from West Ham and if that helps focus the players and excite the fans then who am I to poke a stick into the spokes?

I actually enjoy the Emirates Cup matches. They are light entertainment. Enjoyable little hills in an otherwise flat landscape. I don’t read anything into them, of course not. If I did I would have assumed that Sanogo was about to go on to become the Premier League top scorer after his crash bang wallop of a performance against Benfica last year. Also while we’re at it, despatching a team we were assured was one of Europe’s in form sides, and despatching them in such style surely indicated that we would rampage up and down the continent slaying all before us in the coming Champion’s League campaign.

On occasions there have been genuine portents. But these are the exceptions which prove the rule. For example I clearly recall the sight of a very young Kieran Gibbs tearing down the left wing a few years back and remember thinking ‘I wonder if this young man might make the grade?’. But then Gedion Zelalem looked so comfortable among the first team players last year that one might have assumed he was ready to step up. With him partnering a fit and in form Aaron Ramsey in the midfield, Sanogo and Campbell up front, Europe trembling at our feet the blueprint for 2014/15 was there for all to see. Wasn’t it?

The reality of course is that as with last season, today’s tournament is a friendly. Warm up matches designed to give some youngsters a little experience and help the others get into the groove so they can hit the ground running when the real business begins. If you watch Hector Bellerin’s performance last time around you can see what I mean. He played with a freedom and a joie de vivre which allowed him to show us just what could do. The way he slipped past the Benfica defence and then calmly looked up to pick out Joel Campbell rather than rushing a hopeful cross into a crowded penalty area was sublime. As we saw, however, it would take him many games in the Premier League pressure cooker before he felt that relaxed again. In short an exhibition match may showcase what players are capable of but it takes a different kind of confidence, and a deal of experience, to produce the same stuff on a weekly basis when the stakes are high and the crowd is hissing and groaning at every mistake.

So I heartily recommend we all try to simply enjoy the matches this weekend, don’t read too much into them either good or bad, and remember we’re all still on our football holidays, there will be plenty of time for bitten nails and smashed coffee cups when the real thing begins in a couple of weeks time. Before I leave you I must apologise for the brevity of today’s post. I would write more but for two factors. One I don’t know a thing about either of our opponents, and two the sun is shining outside and I am in the throes of a campaign to reduce the inordinate size of my spreading paunch and to that end I am going to put down my quill, replace the lid on the ink pot and get out onto my bike and try to put a few miles under my groaning belt.

 

About steww

Arsenal, books, photography, bass guitar, dog walking, mountain biking, being on the radio, writing, talking too much, failing, making mistakes, buggering on regardless.

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88 comments on “Arsenal Versus Lyon: Games Don’t Come Any Bigger Than This

  1. When I heard he just won the U-17 world cup with France, I smiled knowing Wenger had just nicked another gem.

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  2. Wenger was asked about some of the young guns(Akpom, Crowley, Zelalem, Iwobi) getting game time this season and he said its not fully decided but it looks like Iwobi will stay with us while at least some of the others would likely go on loan, but he stressed that they must play regular if they go on loan, cos otherwise they are better off staying and training here with our quality players. It seems Iwobi has impressed Wenger

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  3. What am I missing about Benzema? It’s easy to look good in a two team league, but he’s never impressed me when I’ve seen him play for France. If Arsene thinks he’s worth spending a chunk of our transfer money on, I guess it will become clear

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  4. Fantastic to see the speed and understanding of our counterattacks. Ox was superb today, even allowing for the fact that he had a rookie full back in front of him. Just hope he can keep that going. Ramsey and Özil also outstanding.
    Iwobi looks more of a team player than Akpom (who should go out on loan somewhere where he’ll play regularly and where they’ll drum into him the fact that it’s not all about him – West Brom maybe, a hard task master). Iwobi gave Gibbs a lot of support as well as showing awareness of those around him.
    Reine-Adelaide (which actually translates as Queen-Adelaide) showed promise too but let’s not go too overboard at this stage, despite AW’s praise.
    Good to see also that Coquelin has started the season where he left off. He may have let Fakir get past him a couple of times but in a proper competitive match, I don’t think he would have. We were three goals to the good by then anyway.
    Although steww rightly says that we shouldn’t “read too much into them, either good or bad”, it’s really hard not to be very positive about that display. Quite a lot for tomorrow’s team to live up to.

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  5. its amazing that some of the AAA still critical of Ramsey’s performance today, they really are clutching at straws now.

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  6. We looked impressive. I liked the way Ox looked today. He looks more assured.

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  7. It takes something special to get Arsene excited. Reine-Adelaide seems to have done just that. If its good enough for Arsene , its good enough for me.

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  8. Even with the supposed brevity of this article, it was brilliant. (effing brilliant, actually).

    One complaint though, the effing photography. I’m a bit sick at the quality. Every year/day I have to look at washed out pics on the net – trying to decide what, for example, a leaked photo of an Arsenal shirt really looks like – how red? Or how gold?

    What sort of camera is our preview man using, or is he doing dat photoshopping I keep hearing about? Have you seen the walls at the back of the photo? How many distinctly different colours have dem walls got? Has the photographer considered the derogatory effect his photos may have on peeps like “Instamatic Ranty”?

    Of course he hasn’t. Would the photographer consider taking pics with an ipad2, with its sub megapixel, non flash “dreary-oraty”? Would the photographer like me to send him a couple of Agfa 35mm rolls which I was given a decade or so ago, which I’ve kept in case I ever use my Pentax Spotmatic F again (which I never used well, cos what the eff is it with those damn F number thingys)?

    Am I jealous of brilliant previews and beautiful photography (made worse by intriguing yet appropriate selection)?

    Don’t answer that – it was rhetorical.

    Right, it’s nearly time to rewatch the match (assuming full as-live coverage appears on the ‘player’ at midnight).

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  9. I would normally complain about this sort of thuggery but there are exceptions to every rule

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  10. i was thinking earlier in the year, if Theo moved in to the centre to supplement Oli, we would need a right winger especially as Arsene eventually sees the Ox moving more centrally. With Serge moving to the no 10 position for the U21’s I thought there was a genuine place for a natural winger. Well how wrong can you be Theo,Ox, Alexis, Danny, Chuba, Serge, Maitland Niles, Toral and now Adelaide can all play that position plus Thomas, Aaron and Jack who can all play the Ray Parlour role. It does seems really difficult to fit new players into this squad with the abundance of talent we have.

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  11. Rantetta – yes please I’ll have your old films, especially if they’re black and white, I can develop the pics myself that way.
    The reason the colours are so amazing is because it’s a Fuji camera and you just cannot beat them for colour. Oh and the sun was shining and the ancient walls of the Bishop’s Palace in Wells have some great colours in them,.

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  12. Ospina: “It was my decision. There were offers on the table but I decided to stay & continue with the responsibility of growing at Arsenal”

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  13. Arsenal fans never cease to amaze me, I just seen this

    “If Ozil was bought for 10m say, I’m almost certain he’d have lost his place in the team by now…we just recently started seeing the real stuff of that huge money splashed to get the German.”

    the poster of that reveals himself in a later post to be one of those “I rate Cazorla so I am not allowed to rate Ozil” type of guys,

    I really really don’t get this trend among Gooners,

    I like Ospina so I can’t like Szczesny
    I like Bellerin so I can’t like Debuchy
    I like Monreal so I can’t like Gibbs
    I like Coquelin so I can’t like Arteta
    I like Ox so I can’t like Theo
    I like Cazorla so I can’t like Ozil
    I like Jack so I can’t like Rambo
    I like Welbeck so I can’t like Giroud

    do fans of other clubs do this too or is it just an Arsenal thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. you know how the AAA says Wenger don’t like to sign players, well would it surprise you to find out that since the 2011-12 season 22 players who played for the Arsenal first team that season are no longer contracted to Arsenal, and that does not include Jenkinson who is out on loan, nor Joel Campbell who was on loan that season but did not play a game for us.

    the following players have all departed
    almunia, Fabianski, Mannone
    Djourour, Squallaci, Santos, Sagna, Vermaelen
    Song, Denilson, Lansbury, Frimpong, Diaby
    Arshavin, Benayoun, Ryo, Gervinho
    Bendtner, Van Persie, Chamakh, park chu-young, Vela

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Good afternoon fellow Positivistas,

    I received a note from the publisher this morning inquiring as to why a match report for yesterday’s thrashing of Lyon had failed to be produced by10.00 this morning as laid down in my contract.

    I explained that, with two games in two days, and the little ‘hiccup’ that attended last season’s Emirates Trophy Sunday game it had been my intention to file my match review(s) at the conclusion of the tournament rather than at half time, so to speak.

    Be assured therefore approximately 600 words of the best effort shall be with you at about 7 this evening UK time.

    My apologies to those who tuned in, only to see a blank screen.

    Liked by 4 people

  16. Sensible decision Andrew. Enjoy the second half – shame about the weather!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. A5, as your review only comes once Steww has completed his mind wandering preview. As he has only posted one starter its his fault your pudding was left on your face so to speak . Owing to the time restraints I think maybe were expecting to much. Looking forward to today’s game and your reflections.

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  18. FK² ‏@fkhanage 3h3 hours ago
    Mourinho accusing other Premier League clubs of ‘trying to buy the title’. Jose Mourinho. The game’s biggest chequebook manager. The irony.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Arsenal v Wolfsburg: Cech, Bellerin, Chambers, Gabriel, Monreal, Arteta, Cazorla, Reine-Adelaide, Ozil, Wilshere, Walcott

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  20. subs: Martinez, Debuchy, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Giroud, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey, Akpom, Coquelin, Hayden, Iwobi

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  21. Bendtner starts for Wolfsburg

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  22. Benaglio-Jung,Naldo,Klose,Rodriguez-Träsch,Guilavogui-Vieirinha,De Bruyne,Schürrle-Bendter.

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  23. I take full fucking responsibility for Andrew’s slack approach. Bastards.
    600 words? I use 600 words clearing my throat.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. High up in the North Bank behind Cech warming up. Different class. An astonishing and significant signing.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. HT: Arsenal 0-0 Wolfsburg

    Wolfsburg been the better team, lots of corners for them.

    Arsenal been a bit slow in passing and movement.

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  26. I would say honors even after the 1at half, both teams have had their chances. The thing that was most glaring to me is how both Giroud and Ramsey are missed. Giroud is important as a fulcrum to Ozil pinging balls into the danger area and Ramsey for box to box drive. Hope I am not over analyzing.

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  27. yes shotta, Ramsey and Giroud are missed.

    Akpom on for the second half, Ozil gone off

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  28. looks like Akpom has gone up front with theo wide right and wilshere at no.10

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  29. 49 minutes Rene-Adelaide with great footwork and then a defense splitting pass to theo who finished very calmly 1-0 to the Arsenal

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  30. Ramsey coming on for Arteta, about half an hour left

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  31. ox on for Rene-Adelaide

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  32. Giroud and Hayden on for Walcott and Wilshere, about 15 minutes left

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  33. FT: Arsenal 1-0 Wolfsburg

    Arsenal win the Emirates Cup

    A much better performance in the second half, a well made and well taken goal to win the game. Solid in defense. Ox was very bright when he came on.

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  34. Hope Jack is not seriously hurt. He took constant clattering by the Wolfsburg players whener he ran at the. He is got to expect a lot of that in the upcoming season.

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  35. Where is Wellington Silva in all of these things?

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  36. Chuba has to do better distributing close to the opposition penalty area. I was really impressed by Hayden in the middle and Reine-Adelaide looks a beast.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. I agree with the ever wise Passenal, I see some of Abou Diaby in Jeff Rein-Adelaide. It makes the loss of Abou a little easier…..we have player on our hands….

    Liked by 1 person

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