A Little Less Contemplation, a Little More Action

Good morning from an early Autumn Norfolk, the faintest tips of gold beginning to show in the trees.

And what of yesterday?

Our opening 10-15 minutes were superb, as excellent a start to a home or away game as I can recall since we demolished Naples in October 2013. Stoke were immediately opened up by Ozil, Santi and Sanchez. Shots rained in on the visitors’ goal, the woodwork rattled, Butland flung himself left and right. As I have mentioned often Hector’s abilities as an attacking full back, his crossing and a beautiful touch when controlling and laying off the ball is worth the price of admission alone.

Watching the quarter of an hour of blurred red and white quality with an increasingly ragged Stoke I admit I was disappointed that we did not have at least one goal to show for such a period of dominance. A moment of weakness I now recognise.

Revisiting the matter however what that phase did give us was control of the game which thereafter was never in doubt. If Mark Hughes did have a ‘game-plan’ and his choice of a 442 formation suggests he may have had an ambition to take advantage of our sometimes dilatory entry to home matches then his scheme was shredded in about five minutes. Whatever hopes Sparky may have entertained as they climbed off the coach he and his players recognised by about 3.05 that it would be an afternoon when survival and a modest beating were the best rewards on offer, victory would have to wait for another day and another opponent. Once we had our collective foot on the throat of the visitors we never removed for the remainder of the afternoon.

The goal came of course on the half hour, with Theo enjoying the advantage of just one touch before slotting a difficult chance past Butland. Oh Theo, you get into the right position, you leave the defender(s) floundering, you can see the white’s of the keeper’s eyes ……………

Marvellous shot from Laurent on 25 minutes from 35 yards btw – well worth a mention and I want to see more of that from him.

But once ahead at 1-0, and with Stoke barely able to get over the halfway line, we dropped a gear, played possession football, created further chances which Butland got his hand to or we fluffed. It was a warm afternoon. Mesut and Alexis’ both had run their race by 80 minutes, and Theo gave way to a no doubt frustrated Giroud. More chances came, and went, before Olivier demonstrated the art of heading the ball in the opponent’s 6 yard box to seal the win and send the home fans streaming for that early train. Even then the Stoke keeper popped up again to deny Koscielny a late third from a header.

Yesterday was a football match to savour, to roll around the mind because there was such a lot of good passing movement, shot after shot after shot at goal, great keeping, even the tackling was clean and professional. Despite their reputation hanging over from the Pulis era there was not much to complain about yesterday from Stoke in terms of tackling and/or freestyle violence, although admittedly Adam was serving his ban. I thought Moss was fine and having watched the clash between Gabriel and Aurtinovic, which I had not seen clearly at the time, he called that correctly. Nasty piece of work the Stoke player and I was pleased to see Moss telling him to shut his mouth after the incident.

If I had been asked for a Man of the Match then for once it would be an opposition player and gone to Butland who saved Stoke from a 5-6-7 goal beating.

One final thought. With the assistance of Shotta we have been contemplating the football universe and how it can be understood, or at least better illuminated, through the application of mathematics and statistics. Can you have a 2-0 thrashing you, cos yesterday was as comprehensive slaughter of the Orcs as I have seen ?

Enjoy your Sunday, and don’t go mad !

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79 comments on “A Little Less Contemplation, a Little More Action

  1. It’s Deano for Saturday boys and girls – my 4th favourite PL referee after Clatters, Oliver, and Mossy.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. FH
    I like your cunning thinking.
    How does Roman get rid of an embarrassment to his new squeeky clean reputation like Jose has become? – by putting in performance criteria into his new contract that Jose would have thought piss easy to avoid falling below. Look at Jose squirm now and no BBF Jorge Menderz to run crying to.

    I guess he could get the sack soon with zero compensation provided for if Chelsea fall into the bottom 3. There is no way Jose would have seen that one coming.

    Smoke that failure, Mr. Specialist!


  3. Andy

    It could have been worse: (Atkinson), and Deno has strayed back to middle of the road nowadays.


  4. Finsbury, September 14, 2015 at 11:51 am:
    “Arsene Wenger is a threat to the oligarchs secured investments in their football clubs,
    Fuck that I mean the entire premier leagues economic security, nope scratch that I mean your families security, he’s polluting our sacred game, all that teaching kids to pass the ball and not shoot the evil mastermind (30 shots on Saturday), adding fluoride to the water, etc.”

    I differ soewhat Fins. Here is my take:
    “Arsene Wenger is a threat to the special agents, the affiliated dual owners and selling clubs.especially those in Spain and Portugal.”
    Every night Mendez and his ilk go to bed they say a special prayer to the likes of United, Chelsea, City and PSG and thir cheer leaders in the transfer window.
    As Yogi Low chuckled with delight, thanking PL clubs, for strengthening German football who can now spend more money on their academies while refusing to sell their best assets.
    AW led the way with ripping off City with his sale of Ade and Kolo Toure.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Josh James ‏@JoshJJames78 22h22 hours ago
    Theo Walcott is the first Arsenal player since Dennis Bergkamp to score in 10 successive seasons
    Theo Walcott is now Arsenal’s joint 24th all-time leading goalscorer – tied with George Graham and Geoff Strong on 77. Pires 23rd on 84


  6. Orbinho
    Walcott’s chance conversion rate for the last 4 seasons in the PL is 20%. Henry’s last 4 seasons 20%. Aguero’s conversion is 21%. Giroud 17%

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Yes, and he threatened not to play. Ah, diddums.

    So AS showed how to move with influential peeps in the footy world following retirement: MOTD/Newcy to relegation/MOTD.

    The Neville’s must be dynastic: MOTD/coaching job/Sky/coaching job…

    Barton for director general, naturally, if ever his wonderousness retires.

    By the way, this was a kick to the head. A KICK TO THE HEAD! Haha, couldn’t make it up. Propa football that, for when men were men. I remember Jimmy Hill commenting on the young AS’s thighs.

    I’m too upset with him to talk about Crath Druks.


  8. If you check Dean’s record refereeing Jose’s Chelsea we have the home defeat by Sunlun, followed by a home draw against the Saints which led to Jose repeating his accusations of a conspiracy among referees.

    And I may be mistaken but I think it was Deano who sent Jose’s pet dwarf Faria to the stands.

    Yes Mr Dean will relish the chance to engage in a little whistle play with his favourite manager

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hell fire , twitter is down, I might have to go out of the house to argue with random strangers.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. My twitter is fine, are you sure twitter haven’t blocked you George.
    This week is going to be a incredibly difficult week, firstly zargreb have gone 41 games unbeaten in all competitions and were playing them in their own backyrd, then we play chelski who haven’t travelled, have had an extra day to recover, are at home and are being pillared by all and sundry so will well up for it and then we visit the hostile home of the spuds this cup final is playing us especially in a competition they have their biggest chance of success. If we win all three games it will be a major achievement.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I think Chelsea play Wednesday too, aob.


  12. They do DK,
    But they are at the Bridge.


  13. A rumor doing the rounds in the last couple of days is that Arsenal are about to announce that they will be building a new ground for our youth(U18/U19/U21) teams and our Ladies team games. An announcement is expected within the next month or so, probably at the Clubs AGM in October.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. some reports that Bellerin and Ramsey haven’t travelled to Zagreb


  15. The training ground thing is not a rumour, a stadium will be built at colney as soon as planning permission is granted.
    The upgrade in conjunction with hale end will mean our facilities are once again the best in Europe at all levels.
    Hector and Aaron have not travelled but Aaron was in all the training photo’s so I think it’s just rotation.
    I am glad I was wrong and chelski don’t play till Wednesday although with us traveling and facing harder opposition the early K.O. will still give them an advantage (obviously by design)


  16. also on us travelling it seems the return journey has been delayed due to upgrade works at the Zagreb airport and AFC team will be travelling home via Solvenia


  17. remember that Schneiderlin guy who was, according to the FM crew, the answer to all our midfield woes(yeah they say our midfield has woes), well the lad can’t get in the Utd midfield once again tonight, and that is despite Carrick not being in the team.


    Arsène Wenger believes that rotating his players during this busy period will help keep Arsenal’s balance right.
    The Gunners begin their Champions League campaign against Dinamo Zagreb at Stadion Maksimir on Wednesday, just three days before their Premier League fixture at Chelsea.
    Arsenal then face trips to Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City, but Wenger is confident that his side have enough strength in depth to cope with the congested fixture list.
    I try to keep the balance right and give a little breather to players who need it
    Arsène Wenger
    “It is more the global programme we have to absorb in the next three weeks, rather than one game,” he said. “I knew since I [found out] our schedule that I have a squad of 20 players, all experienced and every decision I make is very difficult.
    “It is quite easy to change two or three players, [more] than it was in years before because they are all at a very good level.
    “I know the same team cannot play every single game over the next three weeks. I try to keep the balance right and give a little breather to players who need it.”
    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

    Read more at http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20150915/boss-i-will-keep-the-balance-right#mmZrPexZLvJJMmB2.99


  19. PG, keep twittering!

    Eddy, I make it 2 days, Thursday and Friday!!

    As for the upgrade to that stadium, Hammersmith and Fulham Borough Council, cannot comment, until a planning application is submitted. The spokesperson could not comment on the BBC’s source.

    Who believes the BBC?


  20. We’ll never mind lads – if it all goes tits up at the Bridge we can blame UEFA

    Giving us four days off after a home game against Stoke before travelling to Zagreb

    The bastards

    And then expecting us to travel all the way to Chelsea ( although the timing is down to the PL TV contract )

    So it is also the PL and BT


    And now you tell me the Croat airport authorities are in on the conspiracy Eddy ?!?

    It is the work of Satan, no doubt


  21. The fixture conspiracy I really like is Spuds trip to Quarabag on a Thursday night followed by them playing Chels at midday on Sunday

    Where is Khazakstan anyway ?


  22. Or even Azerbaijan ( just testing there)


  23. Andy, it is so true?????

    From a 2010 article

    German Police versus the Croatian Football mob.

    Secret witness to finger the Mamic brothers

    …..INFORMED GERMAN SOURCES have confirmed for Nacional, that evidence that Zdravko and Zoran Mamic participated in fixing Champion’s League qualifier matches played by Zagreb’s Dinamo FC against London side Arsenal could be in Croatia within the week…..

    Poor Eduado’s transfer to the Arsenal, is also “tainted”.


  24. Never mind 2010 Eddy
    Today’s Guarniad has the story about the Zagreb coach Mamic and his elder brother the general manager at the club being locked up in July 2015 as part of fraud and money laundering charges – the little scamps


  25. One is in C.Asia and the other is South of the caucasus mountains, I think.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. I’m. not implying that Costalot will never score again but it can’t be long before Morata replaces him as starting CF for Spain?


  27. Blimey

    Imagine if a £30M Bony was your rotating CF? He can head the ball, I don’t mean to imply that he’s terrible.

    Injuries for both the mancs haven’t seen the other game.
    Think we might see little bit rotation tomorrow! If the rumour Eddy heard is true then definitely so! Be interesting to see how Gibbs gets on if he starts.


  28. I have said it before but I will bore you with it again

    Juventus tonight demonstrated why they are the best football team in Europe – not the best 11 players playing for the same club by any means, and not the most talented or attractive side to watch.

    But my Gawd they are organised, have apparently shaken off losing some great players, and have quality and use it in front of goal when it counts, and are rock like at the back.

    I salute you Massimo Allegri – you are the team to beat


  29. We were in for Morata a few years ago. I’ve always been a fan of his.

    Shotta: “AW led the way with ripping off City with his sale of Ade and Kolo”

    Arsene led the way with selling Anelka to Real Madrid.

    Liked by 1 person

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