Reality Leaves A Lot To The Imagination*

Morning +++’ers and I guess that like me you have been gently turning over last night’s game, like a tumble dryer at a slow speed, little flashes of bright cloth, amid a whirl of rather confused and apparently damp fabric.

What of the contest itself?

A disturbing first half. Hesitation, nervousness and careless passing from the outset which appeared to accelerate as Liverpool sensed they might be on for a win and pressed us hard in our half of the pitch. Ironically the best Arsenal pass of the first half which led to Aaron’s ‘goal’ came from Santi, who seemed like he was ill. No, seriously, he looked a bit dazed as he trotted about. His passing was way off target. As for the ‘goal’ how long is professional football going to look ridiculous by refusing to employ technology to assist officials, then bleat long and loud about terrible decisions by officials? I am hopeful that it may happen in my lifetime, though probably not Blatter’s.

As for the other 44 minutes, Le Coq stepped in twice with two decisive and, thank the Lord, clean tackles to deny Scouse forwards bearing down on Cech. One great save and one good save by the Czech/poor finish by Benteke, left us clinging on at half time. So many of those Liverpool chances came as a result of errors on our part, failing to clear a ball, losing it 25 yards out etc. And it was not just Chambers and Gabriel, it was most of the players in red and white shirts.

And when we returned and Mr Oliver peeped the second period into life the world turned upside down. Passes hit their intended receiver (quite NFL that phrase, I shall use it again), Liverpool looked increasingly ragged and could not retain the ball, their young Gomez had to resort to niggly fouls to keep the left-hand side controlled, we made many chances in the box, Giroo huffed, Ozil puffed, Mignolet pulled off a couple of good saves …….. But, disappointingly, we failed to bring the house down. Good contribution from the Ox, Sanchez looked a little subdued. Gabriel looked very assured throughout the second 45 against an aggressive and increasingly frustrated Benteke. Theo unfortunately anonymous for his 10 minute cameo. No cigar last night son.

A point gained, two points dropped? It was the right result on the game so I say the former.

What of the opponents?

In spite of myself I was impressed. A polished performance, particularly at the back from Loveren and Skrtel, Clyne solid, Coutinho tricky. They could be genuine Top 4 contenders again, especially with no Euro distractions. What on earth was Mignolet doing time wasting though?  Idiotic attitude – you had the game in the palm of your glove you fool  – and you were running the clock down. Almost unfathomably stupid.

What of the Arsenal?

Simple solution, score goals to translate footballing superiority into points in the table. We have intelligent and experienced players. I have no doubt that will be Mr Wenger’s priority as he strides into Colney today. I have no idea how he will go about it, that is not my job.

Anyway the game gives me a chance to repeat my favourite five minute home movie of football, A Night At The Emirates. Even if you have seen it before, watch it again.

Enjoy your Tuesday.

*John Lennon 9th October 1940 – 8th December 1980

36 comments on “Reality Leaves A Lot To The Imagination*

  1. After watching Bentake shank his early chance wide with an awful effort I though to myself:
    There is a player who will not score the goals that translate better football into goals and points.

    And nothing that happened he thereafter made me change my impression. Liverpool have in recent times turned out their pockets to spend fifty big ones on Proper Shite up front. But their defending was good even though their rookie was lucky to pick up his yellow so late in the game (should’ve got one first half).

    I think the Liverpool ‘keeper was acting under orders, Liverpool players time wasting during subs etc. during the second half even though they were still trying to play on the counter. They were the happier of the two teams to get a point, not an outrageous consideration when they were Away.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful stuff Andrew, Just what the doctor ordered.


  3. I am not going to lie I am upset.
    But in the same breath, i know I can’t do a better job as a manager, it’s not like football manager.
    Am I the only one who though liverpool were parking the Bus, and time wasting from the get go. I felt like the main aim was to get a draw.
    When they saw no Pers and Kos, Benteke eyes must of lit up. But give credit when it’s also due. Yeah they started badly, but as the game went by they made Benteke presence irrelevant.
    Le Coq and Cech seems to be the only one on tune for the first 45min.
    I support the decision to start Giroud, he had no service in the first half, and about 3-4 or the second half. Even world class strikes have bad days… Would you say Aguero is not a world class strike for missing is one-on-one first attack during the city game, or now Sanchez not good because he missed chances. Things like that happens, yeah we need another striker but I for one believe in Giroud, for the simple fact he wear and Arsenal shirt and give his all… Or do you want another lil boy inside me told me to go there, or your not paying me as much as they offering. I take someone who willing to work hard and play for the badge, rather someone who play for the money, because you know who will be more loyal. Something rare these days.
    I am frustrated, but I hate loosing. When I used to play basketball, even if I was messing about or having a bad game 0points, 5 turn over, 1 assists I hated the fact I lost, even if I deserved it… So I am sure they must hate it and be even more frustrated then I am… The question is okay, how do you respond in the next game.

    As for the Refs, yes they human they make mistake. But other sport have technology not to undermine but help. I guess they be less corruptions if every call made by the ref could be challenge… Oh “kick backs” pay for some people secret life…

    3 games, 4 points… All I can say is come on Arsenal… Stand up and be counted again.

    Ps: sorry for typo. At work…lol…

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Captured the night very well there, Andrew.

    There were disappointments of course, but positives also.

    Chambers could have collapsed entirely after early errors but both he and the excellent Gabriel looked assured by the end of a night where Arsenal looked the more likely victors as the game wore on. Liverpool HAD to waste time as they simply could not keep up the early pace with their physically bigger players.

    Ultimately, the visitors could only rue a terrible failure to capitalise on poor defensive work in the opening half by AFC. And Brendan can add smugness to his delusional qualities at least as far as his dismal press conference was concerned. Fact is, we played badly that first half and yet they needed a diabolical call from the Linesman to keep the scores level. Good at the back, Liverpool seem incapable of getting the right players up front, at least for the long term, and Benteke raised more questions than answers. Perhaps a returning Sturridge may improve their prospects going forward?

    Cech was another huge positive; we saw the first of the ten extra points he will reportedly earn Arsenal, last night. A couple of genuinely world class saves proves he hasn’t lost it, indeed, he still has “it” in abundance.

    Although Giroud had a couple of real penalty shouts denied, referee Michael Oliver was again first class and appears head and shoulders above the rest of Riley’s roster these days. Well played to the courageous young man in black. As Andrew says, if we can’t get Oliver the calibre of linesmen his performances deserve, then we really do need to revisit the technology question. Can you imagine a cup final, a relegation or a championship being decided by errors of the kind suffered by Ramsey last night when the solution is so close to hand?

    I enjoyed the game last night, fast-paced and open, unpredictable and the miracle of it ending 0-0 being the most surprising element. Swansea, M City and Leicester have made great starts to the season but most clubs, like Arsenal, are still getting up to speed.

    We at least scored a good goal, disallowed, against a good Liverpool defence. Liverpool failed to score against a defence in disarray. I know who I think had the better game, despite Brendan’s delusions.

    Roll on Newcastle; we are due to score a hatful.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. like i said in the previous post, i didnt see the game. but a point and a clean sheet for a defence everyone seems to agree didnt play too well, wasnt a poor reward. i’ll like to see how any other team play without both of their first choice central defenders.
    this is just the start of the season. the results al around, apart from city arent that great as well.
    madrid with all their superstars couldnt beat a newly promoted team, juve and bayern lost as well. lets not forget we’ve won a trophy already, so its too late for us to go trophy-less.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. credit to wenger for keeping chambers on despite his errors in the first half. unlike those who wouldnt even allow their captain in because he is not the fastest in the world. credit also to him for keeping the crisis in the central defence away from the public until last minutes. i believe if liverpool had knowledge of that early enough, they would have done a better job.


  7. whats all these talk about striker and midfielder by henry and garry? even if we did buy benzema, he wouldnt still play last night as he is still injured. or did madrid win their game?
    i have read and listened to henry and i have come to realise that you cant be briliant in everything. infact, savage at his worst is better than henry at his briliant best when it comes to punditry. he should retire already. and so many of our fans are being fooled by naratives of arsenal needing a vieira, petit, gilberto etal to win the league. i ask, were we winning the league every season when we had these players? and how many league title did these players help their clubs to win before they joined arsenal or after they left us. vieira was a flop in milan, didnt do great in juve and just an also ran in inter. well, at city, he was a scout. how come he didnt do so well in those clubs as he did with us. i think i might know. the same reason, petit found himself at chelsea after a couple of seasons in barca. the truth is that, the same wenger that made all the difference in their careers including henry’s is still here and will do the same thing with coq and giroud.


  8. Two irritating points concerning Gary Neville’s comments about t Arsenal requiring tall strong midfield players, and Thierry’s agreement,

    1st, and I think someone made this very point last night, Le Coq is the best performing holding midfield player in the PL this calendar year bar none – didn’t Henry make some quip about Colombo (?) – therefore less of this shite about not Arsene not having or not signing strong midfield players.

    And 2nd there was no mention of Abou Diaby who the last time I saw him play was a tall, strong midfield player. He was signed, he was crippled. Arguably with him off the roster this July a tall replacement would be the rational replacement. But don’t tell me Gary that the player did not exist, he did.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I fully agree with Gary Neville that the reason why Arsenal have not bought the sort of players he and I and many others think we should have bought is arrogance by Wenger, and I, like Neville, and all others who agree with this point of view, are not being arrogant in the slightest, in thinking that we know better than Wenger, even if we actually do not know any of the reasons why any player we want signed, has not been signed, its not arrogant for us to believe this, even if we don’t know who Wenger has tried to sign, who we can afford to sign, who actually wants to sign for us, or who is available for us to sign. I dare anyone find any arrogance from myself, Gary Neville, or anyone who argees with us in that Wenger is arrogant for not signing the players we want signed. For God’s sake we could have had Green, Samba, Hoilett, Parker and Crouch if only Wenger’s arrogance had not stopped him

    Liked by 1 person

  10. anyone see the SKY interview with Cech after the game last night, I laughed at how Henry butted in with “Hi Petr”, and Cech totally did not recognize his voice, and Henry had to embarrassingly say “its Theirry Henry here”, Henry is so far up his own arse its unbelievable.


  11. talking about coq, he has been very briliant this season. right from the pre season, him and ox have impressed me. you cant even compare him to matic. just watch matic against us and westbrom, was a disaster. i was suprise noone mentioned the fact that he should have been sentoff against westbrom as everyone including arsenal fans were saying about coq after palace game. ihave even read some asking wenger to drop cazorla. i agree that noone is undroppable, but how can you sudenly drop your second best player last season. where is the place of reward for a good work done? if during the season, there are players who come in and do a better job in the position when cazorla is not available, then he can fairly see that he lost his place to a better player. they need to see gibbs/monreal and debuchy/bellerin to understand wenger’s management style. gabriel for instance has been great since he arrived, but you are not just going to chop per or kos for no reasonable reason to accommodate him. maybe during the season, he might cement his place in the team. just maybe.
    that is how you enter a team. coq, bellerin, monreal and maybe ox did that last season. this attitude of hating a player just because a favourite player isnt in the team has to stop.


  12. if there is any player we can buy to win us the title, it is messi. not vieira, not petit or henry.


  13. Akpom called up to the England U21 squad for the first time, Chambers named in the squad too.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. the fun of it all is that, hadnt it been for the disallowed goal, these same people will this morning be telling how brave we fought despite not having our first choice central defenders.


  15. I see the negative mob out in force, already throwing out their AAA stuff in case Arsenal manage to bring in a couple of new players in the next week, I’ve already seen it put out there that any signing we make now is a “panic signing”, even if we have been trying for them for weeks or even months, then there is the other soundbite they quite like, even if we sign world class DM and ST “its a couple of months too late”.

    Really have to laugh seeing a couple of the most rabid WOB claiming to be ITK on transfers this summer, Claude the fraud and that memz_dogi, it has clearly been a concerted effort from the WOB this summer to put forward false Arsenal transfer stories and then when after a few weeks said transfer does not happen they have blamed Wenger for “dithering” or “refusing to pay the asking price”, “changing his mind” etc etc

    if you want a laugh here is claude claiming AFC are in for two strikers from the same club, spoiler alert, Claude says he is “not allowed to say more”.


    due to the timing of claude becoming an ITK I can only assume he met his source on his visit to the looney bin recently.


  16. Good analysis. I thought Liverpool were shit. They only looked good in that period of the match where we had a mental breakdown and couldn’t pass the ball to save our lives. Beyond that, they parked the bus and were playing for the draw from minute fifty five.

    This team was awfully out of form against West Ham, but things have improved game by game. If they play against Newcastle the way they played the second half last night, it’ll be a blood bath.


  17. just a few words about our central defenders last night.

    I see a lot of “experts” writing off Chambers due to his first half performance last night, now considering how poor he was in the first 45, one might be forgiven for doing so, but the lad was not taken off at half time, he played the second 45 too, so why base any conclusion on half the game and if any conclusions are to be hastily reached then I would say if anything he proved just how big a talent he is, how often does an experienced defender who is having a mare manage to turn it around to the extent that he dominates his direct opponent, rarely I would say, so for a lad, and that is all chambers is at this stage, to manage to completely turn around his performance should be enormous encouragement to him, his team mates, Wenger, and us the fans. It showed real character, much more character than the flavor of the Month the AAA are shouting for at the moment, – John Stones – who with less than 50 BPL games for Everton is demanding a transfer at the first sign of a big pay rise.

    On to Gabriel, well I seen enough from him last night to understand why Wenger stated a few weeks ago that this guy will be a sensational defender. Reads the game well, sticks to the attacker a la Keown in his prime, and he will throw his body in the way of any shot, with no fear. I look forward to seeing him prove Wenger right over a long period.


  18. So by this time next week the transfer window will be shut, what do you all think will be done by Arsenal transfer wise in the next week.

    for me I think we might bring in an International DM, and an outside chance of a ST too. and if we do sign for those positions then Flamini and Campbell likely to leave.


  19. anyone remember Marko Marin, another one of those multi million pound CFC signings that got dumped out on loan after only 6 BPL games for them, well he is off on loan again, this time to Trabzonspor. another example of the distorted battle we fight when it comes to transfers and being able to throw money at it.


  20. “what do you all think will be done by Arsenal transfer wise in the next week.”


    Liked by 1 person

  21. amazing stat from last nights game is that Arsenal lost the ball to lfc 20 times in our own half



  22. Ed, I’ve was just about to post that too it’s an amazing stat. Basically we didn’t cope with Liverpool s high pressing game in the first half however in the second half that changed and so they had to retreat. So if Aaron’s goal was allowed would the second period of the first half played out how it did almost certainly not. As I said yesterday in these tight games the first goal is so important and yesterday was a clear indication. I think we would have been talking about a quality ARSENAL performance and a lightweight pool this morning funny Neville never picked up on that but then his team used to get all the decisions

    Liked by 1 person

  23. they use to call him “german messi” that was long time ago.

    edu, who would that international DM be? i doubt we’ll see any addition. maybea loan signing. arda turan.


  24. layksite there are a number of options out there that could end up here, I know Wenger has been a long time admirer of Lars Bender, we have tried for both Bender boys in the past, so for me he would be the favorite, but maybe Illarramendi might be attainable from Real.


  25. Eduardo, how do you know Arsene has been a long time admirer?
    He has 70% pass completion. Not likely that admired.


  26. According to the local Liverpool press, Mr Wenger is reported as saying:

    “I personally rate Raheem Sterling. We will see that in the longer term,” Wenger began, reported in the Echo.

    “I personally don’t think that Sterling was making a lot of drama. It’s just during the transfer window that that happened.

    “They refused to sell us Suárez so I cannot feel too much sympathy for them.”


    “They bought Firmino. We will see what he will produce. He is a similar player [to Suarez, Sterling].”

    “We played a cup final against Benteke and we managed to deal with it. Then again, every game is a new challenge and we have to show that we can do it.

    “We have dealt with him in a positive way before.”


  27. I hope we get Malmo
    Cheating shite


  28. anyone see this little gem from tony evens of ESPN

    “aside from that, Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson won titles and a Champions League on a tighter budget and with a worse squad than the Frenchman’s, “


  29. Lee Dixon ✔@LeeDixon2
    It might be also true that Man Utd have never replaced Keane? Why not?

    Liked by 1 person

  30. away to spurs in the COC


  31. Yep we got Spurs in the CoC and i had to find refuge here. Arsenal Twitter is more mentally scaring than our results are.


  32. Arsenal are set to have 4 away games in a row in September- depending on where our first CL group game is, we either have away game to start the run of 4 away games, or we will have an away CL game to finish the run

    Sept 15/16 CL group game 1
    Sept 19: Chelsea (A)
    Sept 23: Tottenham (A)
    Sept 26: Leicester (A)
    Sept 29/30 CL group game 2


  33. Nice to read some proper analysis from one of the very few places you can get it. We were terrible in the first half, but should still have scored two goals, an incompetent linesman, used to think only us and England back in the day got them, but recently, it seems a once untouchable current England captain has recently suffered the same fate. What is happening in the world?
    I just get the impression we are just a couple percent off our sharpest for whatever reason, and with us, a couple percent can look bad, really bad at times, but we will improve…..but not easy when you lose your two main defenders at short notice. And have a linesman that doesn’t understand the geometry of a straight line of vision.
    I don’t make so many games, but went to this one, and cannot reconcile what I saw with the doomsayers in the press. And the Utd player, the man who slags of Wenger at any chance, but whose ex manager was reduced to cheating via compliant refs using said Utd player to beat Wengers teams.
    Back to the game….
    Thought Gabriel played really well and Chambers massively improved when his nerves eventually settled. Yes he had a torrid time for a while , but so did a fellow I remember from a while back, think his name was Adams.
    Ozil was beyond excellent, Ramsey had his moments, and nothing more I can say about Cech that you cannot see online.
    The dinosaur punters picked up we lacked leadership, they are often full of shite, but for once they may have had a point, I think Arteta or per, or for that matter Jack would have stopped Chambers being continuously exposed, as Wenger did at half time. I love Caz but he is not a captain.
    The Britshit punters say we need steel in MF, Coq provides that, as he did last night, though at times, Caz forward play isolated him. Arteta provides streetwise guile….but I do wonder, could pacy, hard, excellent tackling and slightly naughty Gabriel be an option when needed in the role the press obsess about, the mythical position of Schneiderlin?

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Does Gary Neville have some sort of fetish about big tall men in midfield ? Seems a continual them with him, carragher collymore et al. Of course nothing wrong if he have something going there, but his captain Keane was about the size of Coq……wasn’t the highly rated Makalele as well?
    But Gary, whatever does it for you!
    As pointed out earlier, Coqs stats match those of anyone, he wasn’t bad last night either, despite some things you may read.. almost makes you feel some have a vested interested in players being bought and sold, rather than developed through the ranks.

    Liked by 2 people

  35. Andrew Nicoll – Back to your usual excellent standards I see. Good work again countering the usual lazy, useless, conventional narratives.

    Liked by 2 people

  36. Thank you for the kind feedback and prepare yourselves for the wise words of the man known as Shotta Gooner !!

    Liked by 2 people

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