Arsenal – Fun Fun Fun on the Autobahn


Guten Morgen Positivistas,

A foul morning in NW Norfolk but a lightness of touch in the fingers as I sit down for another day of digital derring-do.

What a night eh !

My impression of Us ?

A massive EFFORT from every player in red, and one in orange. They applied themselves throughout the 94 minutes, for every minute and every second. A plan had been worked out, it had to be. That performance was not spontaneous, it was not thought up ‘on the hoof’. It was designed and efficiently executed.

I admit, in my weakness and at times, I began to doubt the wisdom of allowing the opposition so much of the ball. Surely to allow players of calibre and speed we were facing that amount of time/space/possession 30-40 metres out is to invite calamity ??

But no! As the Germans tried to take the game into the scoring zone the door slammed shut in their faces, their runs were frustrated, their shots sometimes high, sometimes wide and when on target our keeper dealt with them effectively and with no theatrical flourish. Not once all evening were we opened up. Not once did Mr Cakir have a hard question put to him about any ‘incident’ in the Arsenal box.

After careful overnight reflection I have come to the inescapable conclusion that was probably the best Arsenal defence performance I have ever had the pleasure of watching, taking into account the quality of the opposition.

I am sure you each have a favourite performer on the night, some for the spectacular and decisive moment, other you will have chosen for a relentless contribution to victory over 94 minutes. However I shall name no names among our lads as man or men of the match. All 14 were equally responsible. Had one failed to concentrate, to keep their foot firmly on the writhing Bavarian serpent then we should surely have failed.

And our opponents ?

A magnificent football team. Hugely impressive in the confidence of their passing, one touch, bang and the ball is gone, 10-15 metre passes all night. I imagine that style of play is incredibly hard to play against. The moment you go to the player with the ball it is gone. As you concentrate players on one side of the defence the ball is the other side of the pitch.

Unlike Guardiola’s earlier Barca sides there is no ‘tippy-tappy’, every ball seemed to have a purpose. The one thing they do have exactly in the style of FCB c. 2011 is their style of play without the ball, and particularly in the first half it showed. If the visitors lost possession a posse of black shirts would surround the Arsenal player and the slip retrieved. It took us the first half to really get to grips with that intensity.

The stand out individual in black ? Douglas Costa is good, a bit of quality. A classic winger, quick feet, can go inside and out, difficult to knock off the ball. Having read the aggregated efforts of Her Majesty’s Press Corps ( Sports battalion) this morning I saw that, apparently, Hector Bellerin put in a poor performance. Utter nonsense in my view. Costa put in an outstanding performance and left poor Hector on his arse a couple of times first half. That however is a mark of Costa’s quality, not Bellerin’s ineptitude. Our young Spaniard however stuck to his job, stayed with Costa, frustrated the Munich wingman, and eventually mastered the Brazilian. It was Costa who faded, not Hector. Pep is not an idiot. He knew the race had been run for Douglas and why.

The final observation I can offer is one that comes from being in the ground last night. So detached was I from what was actually going on that I thought the second goal was the final whistle. I was baffled to see Bayern kicking off again !

However because as a spectator I am not locked in to the action for 94 minutes it gave me the opportunity to look at other things, and one thing tat struck me is how ‘SLY’ Bayern are. This is not a criticism as such but every opportunity they had to gain even a tiny advantage, for example slow the taking of an Arsenal free kick down, they took it. Nothing is wasted, no incident too trivial to try and screw some benefit from. I contrasted that approach with, at one point, Theo sportingly giving the ball back only to see the Germans take advantage as we were unprepared for their quick effort. There is a lesson there, somewhere.

Enjoy your day.

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73 comments on “Arsenal – Fun Fun Fun on the Autobahn

  1. The full back performs an honourable profession – leave young Héctor be to become the Roberto Carlos/Dani Alves* /Philip Lahm of the next generation !

    * though without the systematic cheating


    Liked by 4 people

  2. DK and the rest.
    Leave poor ‘Ector alone.

    If AW and the coaches have him trained as a RB, who are we to say otherwise?
    Anyhow – the place to experiment is Wednesday away.

    I know it’s a week off but how about:
    Ospina Or Macey
    Bielik-Flamini (or Arteta)
    Bellerin-The Jeff-Campbell

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Anicoll5

    Dixon & Winterburn
    Lauren & Cole


  4. We have had some fine players in both full back positions, before the Graham years there was Kenny Sansom, Pat Rice and Bob McNab going all the way back to Walley Barnes.

    A noble calling !!


  5. I see we have Lee “keep your card in yer pocket’ Mason on Saturday for Everton.

    I vaguely thought Mason had done something unspeakable and been banished to referee in the EvoStik Northern, but apparently not.


  6. DC why would you play a CB at left back and not Gibbs, also Reine-Adelaide will not be available as he is at the U17 World Championships with France. Also Iwobi is not a main striker, and would it not make more sense to start Giroud.


  7. Great article. Many thanks.


  8. Were Lewandowski’s best chances/half-chances from Arsenal errors? There were other shots for Thiago and Vidal etc.
    If Munchen had taken a lead we might have seen more defensive possession from them similar to the 2010 Spain team, that slightly older Barca team but they couldn’t get the goal.

    We might see Giroud and Walcott start together in Munich, they did so well last time out there, in the meantime the squad needs to be nursed through two games against good PL teams plus the Sheffield game.


  9. Right, let me make it clear from the start that what follows is largely foolishness.

    But, one way the team could be set up for Everton is to start with Giroud up top, Theo or Ox on the left, Alexis on the right. This could mean that Bellerin has better cover/tackle back down our right side, whilst the increasingly wonderful Nacho has an easier out ball to Ox-Theo.

    It seems that Arsene has had a bit more security by not playing Bellerin with Ox-Theo in front of him, hence Aaron’s deployment to the right of midfield? On the other hand, AW may rest Alexis at the start.

    When Theo played up front in the FA Cup game against the spuds, he troubled them mainly from our left side of the pitch (from whence he received the vicious stamp on his achilles which IMO led to his later cruciate injury by way of ****ing up the muscles and tendons around his knee).

    (If you’re getting cross please refer to my first line).

    Needless to say, I always await the team news with interest, and I don’t have any problem with the side Arsene chooses – given my ‘font of no knowledge’ status.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Well spotted Ed,
    I’d forgotten Jeff is away with France U-17’s.
    I’ve head great reports about Pleggy, so I thought he might get called up to the first team, that being said several other youngsters could be called up equally.


  11. Did I nick this from these pages? Carra slags full backs:


  12. Hector started as a winger so not really an experiment if needed. However the Ox is nearer to Aaron than any player we have in the squad (I include Jack in that) its just he’s at a earlier stage is his development.
    With Serge not getting playing time I would like to see his loan cancelled so he could provide backup.


  13. Ramsey and Ospina both out till the next International break, Wilshere, Rosicky and Welbeck out till the new year.


  14. Alex Iwobi being linked with a loan move to Birmingham


  15. A belated ‘Nice post, Andrew’ and an even belateder ‘Nice post, Stew’ for the pre game offering. Lovely stuff, both.

    Apropos not much at all;
    I Didn’t sleep well after the game, perhaps beer related although possibly because I managed to ask myself what two teams I’d pick from current squad to play a full match against each other to entertain myself and a few mates. Half the bloody night it went on in my head realising I had Santi in both teams at one point. Oh yeah, I made all injured players fit to play too.

    If you’re bored, try it. If it entertains then I’m glad to have shared. If not then maybe it was mostly the beer to blame.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Well done, Andrew!

    Will the Arsenal use the Autobahn? “Bahn” the smiley!

    It would appear that David Ospina, is renting Wojciech Szczesny.s house, from my initial look at the press reports. ???

    Hampstead Garden Suburbs was (is ?) a prime target for joy riders with a liking for Range Rovers.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. As the bleeb tries to salvage the reputation of the Mendes player (let’s not talk about his performances on the pitch but his ‘attitude’?) what’s happening to the specialist in signing players signed up to the speccial agent

    “You don’t get from good and funny headlines from me. I’m going to treat your bosses they way they treat me. In football, I’m willing to accept every critic. My private life and stupid things like that you bring to the light I don’t like it. We go to a different level of professional relationship.”

    And that was the end of the news conference.


  18. Jake Cohen ‏@JakeFCohen 53m53 minutes ago
    Over the summer, Roman Abramovich quietly injected an additional £200m into Chelsea via allotment of shares. #cfc


    Screen shot 2015-10-23 at 18.06.46

    Arsenal held their final training session today ahead of tomorrow’s Premier League game against Everton, with five members of the club’s U21 squad in attendance.

    Goalkeeper Matt Macey is currently second choice to Petr Cech with David Ospina out injured, and the 21-year-old is expected to be amongst the substitutes again at Emirates Stadium tomorrow.

    Meanwhile, Krystian Bielik was also selected to train with the senior squad along with midfielders Glen Kamara, Ismael Bennacer and Ben Sheaf.

    Bennacer, who joined from Arles-Avignon in the summer, was hugely impressive for the U19s against Bayern Munich this week, whilst Sheaf has caught the eye at U21 level this season.

    Midfielders Aaron Ramsey and Mikel Arteta are both out injured, with the pair joining Ospina, Jack Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky and Danny Welbeck on the club’s injury list.

    Gabriel is reportedly back in training, but it remains to be seen whether the Brazilian will be fit enough to make the squad for tomorrow’s game.

    Posted in Uncategorized on October 23, 2015 by Jeorge Bird. Leave a comment


  20. dc: “If AW and the coaches have him trained as a RB, who are we to say otherwise?”
    The true voice of conservativism.
    Well, shut my mouth.
    Banned smiley 🙂


  21. any article that starts with “Piers Morgan is a gobshite” is worth a read, so here is the link

    Liked by 1 person

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