Arsenal and a Damn Good Thrashing


Morning All Positive Arsenal fans,

I shall keep it brief.

First, and as young DC pointed out last night, well done to Sheffield Wednesday. A memorable night for them, a deserved victory and hopefully another exciting Capital One Cup tie beckons to them in the draw with one of the ‘glamour’ teams. A full Hillsborough is still an impressive ground.

As for our performance inn South Yorkshire?

Having read the mainstream media this morning and seen Arsene’s words of explanation of last night’s result he hit the target as I expected. Our young lads across the middle Kamara, Iwobi, and Bennacer did not quite have the strength or the nous to overcome the experience and energy of the Wednesday midfield.

Matty did his best to galvanise the boys around him and I never doubted their heart. The effort was there, the cutting edge was not. It must be terribly frustrating for them to play in the reserves and sit on the bench patiently for their chance to come, and when it does for the opportunity to turn to ashes within 51 minutes. It was a game in which we very, very rarely put the home side under any pressure. Apparently we had two shots on target ?

I sense it is probably a hard lesson for young players to learn, that they still have loads of knowledge and experience to acquire before being genuinely equipped for PL football, but it may a necessary one.

Of the performances of our more experienced players Cech had a blameless evening. Giroud had very little ball so can be excused, in my book. The remainder, like me, endured an evening to forget. Every man of them knows he has more ability than was on show for much of last night.

The injuries ? Clearly worrying but it did seem both players went down immediately following their recognition of a muscular twinge rather than a great ripping of tendons and flesh. No doubt investigations will be underway with four days to go before our game in South Wales.

And finally a bright spark ? We got to see Krystian Bielik after many a long month of sightings in the second teams he finally made a real first team appearance. Not an auspicious result for the boy but I liked the half an hour I saw. He has confidence and is tall. That is two boxes ticked.

So enjoy Wednesday and the remainder of the week. A 3.00 kick off on Saturday, which is a novelty. I shall be primed and ready to go again.

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56 comments on “Arsenal and a Damn Good Thrashing

  1. Quite right Andy Nic. A game like that requires a quick response and some one touch passing: no dwelling on the ball, no naval gazing, no rocking gently in the corner. We will get the same old, same old from the same old, same old crew, but that is a mind-set they chose long ago – an acknowledgment, if you like, that the universe is forever tipped against them. It won’t be just The Arsenal that elicits that response from them, but as they pore over the injury tables it will make them feel better to think that if only they were in charge six right sided attacking midfielders would have been added last summer, no players would have been sent foolishly on loan, and, of course, they would have bought a striker. Or is it a DM? Let them enjoy their moments of misery, I say, just as I shall enjoy it the next time we play properly, which I guess we will.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Probably fair to say we haven’t seen a performance quite like that for a while. A forced over allocation of youngsters, in the middle of the park, unfortunately threw them right in front of the glare of senior football headlights and it was not massively pleasant watching them trying to orientate themselves.

    Such is the way of things I guess.

    Onwards and upwards….

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Usually after a defeat I wake up with a feeling almost akin to a hangover – and as someone over nine years sober you can imagine how unpleasant that must be. This morning? Well, it’s a pity but not a big deal. The players definitely took no chances with their niggles so let’s hope the first teamers were under instruction to pull up at the least sign of a problem, a prophylactic rather than any unwanted gravitas.
    As I said yesterday it would have done some players the world of good to have had a run in this cup team – certainly a few looked very ring rusty indeed.
    Anyone know how Serge is getting on in his loan spell? He looked almost Hector good to me when he had his run in the first team and if we have lost another two players I’d be happy to see him again.


  4. Agreed Heady. The Monday morning quarterbacks will be out in full force sowing doom and gloom. On twitter, Tim Payton came out of retirement to ride his current hobby horse, the alleged £70mm sitting in the bank. Apparently history is about to repeat itself, the Arsenal will fall away into mid table by December and make a gallant effort to come 4th by between January and May. This fatalistic attitude should certainly rule City out of a title challenge as well given the injuries to Aguero and Silva in particular (Nasri no longer counts as a key player there, btw). Should our squad join doomers and fold up their tent this early then we are really screwed.

    As for yesterday, I had such a busy day I missed Steww’s post until a few minutes ago. Late yesterday I watched the game from my dvr. Agree almost entirely with A5’s match report. My only reservation is I am not sure about Bieleck; he came on after the Owls had scored their 3rd and were not really pressing us. He did not come under much pressure, unlike the infinitely more intense environment in a PL game where control of CM is trench warfare. To be honest I was more encouraged by Iwobi’s 90 minutes but what do I know.


  5. Fair point Shotts as by the 60th minute and 3-0 up the Owls had taken their foot off the gas, embarrassingly for us.


  6. Thanks Andrew.

    Says here that it was the highest attendance at Hillsborough in a decade. They only came to see the (second string) Arsenal.


  7. On Gnabry:

    Gnabry was one that readers of PA were aware of thanks to our scouts AA and AorB, one to watch alongside Bellerin. Thanks!
    And he made his breakthrough ahead of ‘ector, his highlight performance (coming a few weeks or months before he picked up his big injury) was in the FA cup demolition of the tiny neighbours. Top top quality on that first goal. Too good for the hundred million pounds worth of tat Levy had on the pitch.
    The PA scouts have a good track record!

    A year out, a massive blow and set back, and now he’s not getting the minutes at a struggling West Brum. Came off the bench in their early games and was a more selfish Gnabry then the one we saw, he must’ve been so desperate to play and such form on return is nothing we haven’t seen with Rambo, LJW, Chambo etc.
    Tony Pooolis hasn’t been using him since those first few weeks, which has been annoying the brummies as they don’t get to see the exciting Mcmanaman either. Poor Baggies. It’s Tony Pooooolis.

    Looking through a half full glass I think a gentle reintroduction to top flight football might be just what the Gnipper needed, better in the long term, but you have to feel that he’s not getting enough minutes and I don’t think it’s possible to recall him.

    Conversely the decision to lock down the Corporal to a longer contract this summer was a bonus and he’s doing well, even scored a left footed goal! What’s going on with the Corporal is the model for AFC in this post uber-austerity phase. Maitland-Niles (he was seventeen at the start of the season), Hayden, Akpom etc. are on the relative fast track (bear in mind that since the signing of Chambo we can observe that the club are trying to avoid exposing 17/18 year olds to thirty plus games in the hurly burly of the PL). We might see a few players spending a few years on loan before they come back to compete for a spot. Those who thought what happened with Coquelin was a fluke could be in for a shock!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. The old fart’s thoughts (Gf60)
    I have to confess that seeing several new faces on show was hot on my list of things to look forward to last night. Kamara I knew nothing whatsoever about, Iwobi sounded exciting. But then the team stripped off and two tone blue emerged? Blue? FFS we don’t/shouldn’t ever play in blue. The last time we did we played badly and whoever was responsible should be relieved of that part of his/her duties. Especially seeing that Wednesday also play in blue. What on earth was wrong with red or yellow?

    Be that as it may…seeing new faces did not extend to seeing another two thanks to injuries to both the Ox and Theo. Worse for the debutants was that their “elders and betters” were putting in performances that gave one the feeling that they didn’t really want their first team places back. It must be heart breaking to see no real help coming from the seniors when you’re starting off your career. Especially when your speed merchants have both been injured. And worse was that with their departures, any semblance of craftsmanship disappeared with them. It was not a good night to hang around past my beauty sleep time but I somehow managed to stay awake. Now I ask myself why?

    Wish there was something positive to say but we can still keep the faith. Things couldn’t get worse I hope.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Alongside my previous predictions that Jenkinson would return (left footed goals!) I’m offering good odds in Hayden being a first team squad member next season.
    Hang on, he was promoted to the squad alongside ‘ector last year. When the not so great and good were busy pretending ‘ector was not in the squad even though he was playing games (I guess they must be experts?). So I’m offering odds on him returning to the first team squad. Heh.

    Senior CMs will be moving on. He played so well against a full strength Southampton during last years LC from CB and has the versatility which will get him games. He’s played well for the arsenal in the PL from CM and last night must’ve had another solid performance from midfield against high flying Leicester.

    Get your bets in now!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. the performance last night was very poor, as it has been in all but one of our 5 defeats out of 16 games this season. Each defeat has also seen just like last night, awful defending leading to the goal, tackles that should have been won were lost, a defender actually ducking a ball he could have cleared, attackers not even remotely marked, and goals conceded at set pieces
    as stated by others above, last nights team had lots of quality players in it, 10 full internationals started the game and the 11th is an U21 international who has trained with his country’s senior squad, it was the chance squad men should be busting a gut to have, but like in so many of our defeats thus far this season, it was a flat performance and not one of those given a chance could argue if its a long time till they get another chance. As Wenger said, we had lots of the ball, but done little with it.

    Wenger says our youths are not ready for this level of game (worrying seeing as it was against a championship team, how far away are the lads from being BPL ready so), Tony Pulis said in the last few days that Gnabry is not near ready for BPL action, rumors today suggest that Crowley is being sent back to us by Barnsley cos he aint ready for League 1 yet, Hayden is barely getting game time at Hull, Sanogo is not getting a sniff at Ajax, and nearly all our injury prone players(Arteta, Wilshere, Rosicky, Ramsey, OX, and Walcott) are injured. We can belittle those that complain about lack of signings all we want, but do they have a worthy point.


  11. I hope the Gnabster finds his form again which is never a given after serious injury and would say the same of Hayden. Both fine players and home grown too. Welbeck is the worry for me: he has been off a long time now but boy can he play. His performance against Wet Spam last Christmas was outstanding and just the sort of all action energy the game sometimes needs.


  12. Just a moment there Eddy – “rumours” about Crowley ?

    No rumours at all Eddy – he is back at Colney as he was no longer required at Oakwell – seems to me Barnsley are not ready for League 1 as they currently occupy 21st position, and perhaps they are right – a relegation outfit is no place for a young Arsenal player to learn their trade.

    As for our other loanees at the moment;

    Chuba ? Plenty of games for Hull and scoring freely for a side that is 2nd in the Championship, including last night’s despatch of Leicester.

    As for Hayden at Hull I suspect you have been reading the SUn again eddy. He has put in five starts including 120 minutes against Leicester last night. Sounds good to me for a young player.

    The Hull Daily Mail this morning in player rating this morning; ” Isaac Hayden: The Arsenal loan man pinned the Tigers’ midfield impressively. Smart passing range and not afraid to push out of the holding role and advance down the flanks. Tired as the game went on but deserved plenty of credit. 7″

    Ainsley Maitland-Niles ? 13 games – Ipswich’s player of the Month in September.

    Jon Toral – 10 games and two subs, two goals for the midfielder as BCFC are 6th in the Championship.

    Martinez at Molineux ? Ever present so far – 10 league games 2 Cup games, Wolves sit mid table, not great but learning his trade.

    If we look at our older loanees, Szcz and Jenks then there is no question both are performing well in their host clubs.

    There will be successes among players going out on loan, there will be failures. Keeping a balanced perspective is the thing.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Personally I blame Steww for everything jittery joanas indeed!
    Right now it’s a matter of getting through game by game with that thing we haven’t got mental strength until the sun is shining and we have a full squad to choose from.
    November us traditionally a tricky month, negotiate this one and will be well set to start welcoming some of the long termers back
    It will be interesting to see the line up against west brom Friday as to an indication of our squad we take to Swansea.
    I’m not sure if the rules about not playing against your host club still apply in the U21s as obviously that’s effects Serge’s involvement

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Just because Gnabry isn’t ready for Pulis’s West Bromwich, does not necessarily mean he isn’t ready for Arsene’s Arsenal. It probably takes time to coach an eye for a pass and an incisive dribble out of a player.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. “Rangers desperate to keep on-loan Arsenal star Gedion Zelalem after impressive start in Scotland” 26th October 2015


    good lad

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Ed must’ve you’d forgotton what he’s seen with his own eyes? Or missed my post above: we saw Gnabry’s quality in that FA Cup game (& others) where he set up a great goal for Cazorla, opposite one hundred million punds worth of PL “Talent”.

    Any player at any age isn’t at his sharpest after such a big injury. Tony Pulis is showing worse form with those comments then any player coming back from twelve months out the game. Safe to say Joachim Löw knows more about player, players in general, then poor old Poooolis, he does have the record to prove it.

    Pulis had a more mature Bolasie (& others) under his charge who weren’t recovering from career threatening injuries to impress his future employers. palace have a good squad and Pardew is building on that more then Pooolis ever could. I wonder if the Newcastle black & white bin baggers have been paying attention to Palace?

    F*ck the Pulis, as the old song goes.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. The irony is if Serge hadn’t gone on loan be would be playing for us now.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. fins just like those older squad players who did not perform well last night, our youths, both those still at the club and those out on loan have undoubted talent, but its really been hit and miss for both our squad players and our loanees so far this season. Martinez and Maitland-Niles have had the best of it so far. Akpom probably next.

    And yes fins, Gnabry has shown us in the past that he has great potential, but has his injuries knocked the stuffing out of him. I’d still have him back at AFC ahead of Campbell, but then again that is going on his pre-injury form.

    anicoll I don’t know where you get the idea that Akpom is scoring freely for Hull, his goal last weekend was his first in 12 league games and only his second of the season, and he has 1 in 3 COC games, so 3 in 16 for a team flying high. He is doing well overall. Hayden lost his starting place when Livermore returned from his drugs ban, and has got 3 starts in the COC, again his performances seem to be good, but he is not a regular starter. Toral was a regular starter for Brum in the early weeks of the season, but he is getting little game time in the last month.

    My point on these lads is that we can see their talent, just as we can see Iwobi, Bielik, Bennacer, Kamara all have talent, but as Wenger said they are not ready for COC action, then are we being a little bit foolish in expecting them to play a meaningful role for Arsenal’s first team even next season. Of course any of them could do a Bellerin, but we should not be banking on it.
    We have also the situation at the moment and for the next 3 games at least, that our back up keeper is one who is not deemed ready to start a COC game(Wenger’s stated view)


  19. David Ornstein ‏@bbcsport_david 3h3 hours ago
    Walcott (calf) & Ox (hamstring) expected to miss 3 games. Early indication TW slightly worse but both set to be out for #Swans #Bayern #THFC


  20. Ed, just seen the Crowley news on jeorge bird if its true I’m very excited. Jack the 2nd would be a welcome attacking midfield option to our bench or even the first eleven thinking of the impact Jack the first had when bursting on the scene.
    As far as the buying players is concerned the argument which most doubters have missed is not simply about numbers but buying players who will remain in the squad and make a difference all the time not just when we have eight players out injured and alot from the same position. In such situations youth players should be given their chance especially when we could only be needing those players for a few games. Your only allowed 25 players in the squad not 45.
    At a time when we are championing the form of Bellerin, Le Coq and for that matter Jack we should not be moaning about not having squad fillers, quality not quantity especially now we have a bit more dough.
    There also should always be a place for youth players to arrive as well, if this means we get turned over every now and then then its a small price to pay.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. If Crowley is back at Arsenal – as of yet I have not seen any official confirmation from either AFC or Barnsley – and with OX and Theo now out for 3 weeks injured, might Crowley actually make the first team squad, as things stand Campbell is likely to get in the starting 11, leaving Iwobi as the only attacking option for the bench, Crowley might be the one to step in, it could all work out in the lads favor.


  22. ian yes we are allowed 25 man squad, we have 22, so 3 available places.


  23. no we don’t George, both Bellerin and Chambers qualify as U21 players, we have room for 3 more players.


  24. Sure, we could have 3 more, but we still have 24.Youth players or not they count .They are real players

    Liked by 1 person

  25. by that basis so are all the other youths george so we have more than forty players. The point remains that we have room for 3 more players, and so we have a smaller squad than we could have, why handicap ourselves like that.

    Which is now heightened more by having 8 players out injured – we knew 3 of these were out till the new year before the transfer window shut. And now four players we knew had poor injury records over at least the last 12 months are also out injured.

    I know hindsight is 20 20, but if you were to ask Arsenal fans at the start of the season to name five or six of our players who would be the most likely to be injured by this stage of the season, then a large portion would have named – and indeed many did predict it – Arteta, Theo, Rambo and Ox as the main candidates.

    As things stand our match day squad for the next 3 games look likely to include at least 2 players(Macey and Iwobi) that Wenger says are not even ready for COC level football. Is it just bad luck, or have we only ourselves to blame. For me its a bit of both. We started the season knowing we were already 3 players down for half the season, and still left 3 places unfilled in the allowed 25 man squad, so we in fact knew we were relying on 19 of a squad plus Bellerin and Chambers from the U21 players.

    Lets hope it don’t cost us big time.


  26. Fair enough eddy – all our youngsters on loan are shit

    Liked by 2 people

  27. anicol who has said that, in fact I’ve stated the opposite. but hey don’t let a little thing like that make a difference.


  28. I will say just one thing: the idea that we needed to buy more midfielders who would have covered for these injuries? I don’t recall that being on anyone’s radar screen in the summer, not even those who were clamoring for us to buy. The coverage for Coquelin that everyone seemed to want wouldn’t have plugged this hole. I suppose another striker could have covered for Theo, but not plugging into the Rambo shaped hole in right midfield, which is where he got injured in the first place.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. well I suppose another central midfielder would mean the option was there where Cazorla could be used wide or as the ACM with Ozil going wide.


  30. So how much should we have played for this player and what do we pay the bloke,who would be getting his first outing on Saturday?

    Liked by 3 people

  31. An interesting thing will be if, over the next three games, Arsene finds himself playing one of the youngsters who played at Hillsborough and were found “not ready”. The way our midfield players are tumbling over it can hardly be ruled out and we are in for two hard physical games in Swansea and Munich.

    A single youngster, probably Iwobi but possibly Bielik, might find himself turning out against the Spuds. Great experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. The problem is always finding a player who while good enough is also prepared to be sat off (sic) the bench when he signs – but also one who retains real enthusiasm and appetite. Rosicky, Flamini and Arteta were there to do just that I guess. Flamini will be invaluable for the next three games I guess.

    Liked by 2 people

  33. Was only about twelve months ago Bellerin made his CL debut in Dortmund. Twelve months later he’s beating Munchen.
    He most certainly wasn’t ready for that test in Dortmund even though he’d shown plenty of promise opposite Mane in the LC. Hadn’t exactly achieved Wilfired ‘signed by Utd’ Zaha levels of hype on Man Utd TV (Sky) whilst on loan at Watford had he, through no fault of his own, his manager was dumb.

    According to Troy Deeney, reading between the lines, that Watford manager had no guts. No glory.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Slaviša Jokanović came second in the championship last year with Watford before moving on to Tel Aviv who only appear to be in the CL to ease the passage of the likes of Porto and GazCorp *coughs*, zero points for the make weights.

    Sanchez Flores has Watford in 13th, two places above the GazCorp Fulham Franchise in the PL five points ahead of Bournemouth. Be interesting to see how the promoted teams get on.

    Hull up to second in the second division and Akpom and Hayden are having fun. As I understand it if things get tricky with the old injuries either player could be recalled? (Hayden’s previously been named in the first team squad)


  35. History teaches us the Ox’s injury represents an opportunity for someone, typically a player totally from left field, who will seize the opportunity to be either the next Bellerin-Coquelin-Gnabry-Sanogo. Take your pick. I for one would continue with Campbell playing the Ramsey-role. It is premature to write him off. Iwobi coming off the bench is a nice option to have to ither help hold on to a lead or freshen up things. But what do I know.


  36. Shotta knows more than most and I think he is right about Campbell. There is a player there but one maybe who is not quite sure of how he should be playing. We would have seen a different player on Tuesday had Ox not pulled up lame. He could yet be brilliant as he was when he scored against Man U in the Champion’s League and indeed as when he plays for Costa Rica. Perhaps he just needs to believe he belongs.


  37. It’s a bugger to have so many midfielders out all at once.
    However I read that young Dan Crowley has come back early from his loan spell.

    Will he, or one of the others step-up to become this year’s Coq?


  38. What’s holding-up the FA in dealing with Jose’s latest moment of madness from last weekend?


  39. Rob Harris ‏@RobHarris 4h4 hours ago
    Chelsea striker Lucas Piazon and another Brazilian player are wanted in connection with a sexual assault in Canada https://ca.sports.yahoo.com/news/toronto-police-issue-warrants-brazilian-pan-am-athletes-151402351–spt.html


  40. Marcus Agyei-Tabi has been called up by England U17’s for a double header v Germany U17. This is not going to go down well with the Irish FA, as the lad was one of their star men at last summers Euro championships


  41. Re the fibs by the national press regarding Dan Crowley!

    For the source, I usually check the local press FIRST.

    The Barnsley Chronicle, rather than the Yorkshire Post.

    Johnson says Arsenal called back Crowley – Sport – October 2015
    Arsenal have ended Dan Crowley’s loan due to Barnsley’s league position says Reds head coach Lee Johnson who is on the look-out for new players.

    In the match report against Southend United, played on the 17th October, Dan Crowley was an all-present for the 90 minutes.

    Not up-to-scratch? No wonder, the National Union of Journalists complain of low pay.
    Twenty per cent of the members are not worth the living wage!



    Arsène Wenger has revealed the latest team news ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash at Swansea City:

    on Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain…
    Nothing has changed since after the game. They are out but the scans are today – it’s 48 hours afterwards. We hope they are light injuries, but they are out until after the international break.

    on Ramsey, Ospina, Arteta…
    It’s the same for them. You plan for them all after the international break.

    on his right-sided options at Swansea…
    Campbell and Alex Iwobi. Santi can play there as well but he has become very important centrally. The problem sometimes is that you can destroy two departments if you move one player out. We control the ball better with Santi in the middle.

    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/20151029/team-news-walcott-ramsey-and-the-ox#l9HZ5EmkTLbeUCYF.99


  43. The Jeff is back. We live in desperate times.


  44. Bob Wilson, keeper, coach, pundit, ambassador for the club, tireless charity fundraiser – 74 today

    A life well lived.

    Liked by 3 people

  45. Anicoll5 @7:56am

    Can’t believe Bob hasn’t been Knighted yet.

    Liked by 2 people

  46. Just an OBE so far DC but Bob’s charity work over the past decade since it was awarded is surely ground for HM to recognise him with a knighthood.

    Clearly a petition is in order.

    Liked by 1 person

  47. Does anybody know if the west brom game (U21) has been cancelled, I was going to go tonight but it appear s to have been removed from the fixture list and no one has a preview either. I don’t if I am just going mad or not please help!

    Liked by 1 person

  48. Wenger said today that Ramsey, Walcott, and Arteta should all be back fully fit after the International break, Oxlade-Chamberlain might be fit too, Walcott will be a little longer

    with France now out of the U17’s Reine-Adelaide might be available for the U19’s midweek, as should Chris Willock, Mavadidi and Hinds. And if Crowley is back at the club our team will have a richness of attacking options.


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