Arsenal – We are so very ‘umble

G’day Positivistas,

The result we all hoped for last night with our light blue opponents pushed firmly back toward the pack, and us neatly tucked in behind the Foxes and we move into the Christmas bend.

Dare I say what I suspect a couple of you are thinking, but feel a little shy about sharing …….. Hmmmm??

Dammit I shall – Last night we played well enough to see off Citeh but it was a routine performance. We did not extend ourselves to our very best because we were not required to. Arsenal was efficient. It was, in the end, “expected”. Our defence was very solid, our midfield matched theirs. I was very impressed with the Flamster last night who I barely noticed as he ate up ground, pushed Citeh players out wide and backwards, put in tackles, and generally disrupted the life out of the opposition without anyone noticing. He must be a very difficult man to play against. He is now entirely match fit, a regular starter and 90 minute player. Brains with a steel core.

The one significant difference between the sides was the killing use we made of our two first half chances. After a super, and unexpected, strike from Theo rocked the visitors on their heels, Olivier followed it up through Joe Hart’s legs. Two chances, two goals. Bingo. And that was just about that. It would not matter of Citeh had been a very good side they wee not going to come back from that decisive One-Two.

The second half, up to the 76th minute, was a little dull with us doing enough to keep Citeh off. Apart from a couple of misdirected headers from Aguero they never looked like recovering the initiative in the game. Only Hart’s outstretched leg, from Campbell, and his moon face, from Aaron, saved the Manchester club from embarrassment.

With Mesut’s departure we dropped a gear and allowed them back into the game with a well taken goal from YaYa Toure. Why YaYa played the remainder of the game like a man pushing a fully laden wheelbarrow around the pitch in front of him I do not know. His best years are quite definitely behind him. I could well say the same about Sterling, but that would be ungenerous.

Even with the match at 2-1 however the revival never looked on. The visitors lacked that final burst that could have given them an entirely undeserved point. Unfortunately for Pellegrini that absence of late night fire will be blamed on him rather than his players. The merry-go-round shall spin again.

I thought Hector played well last night but looked a little tired. I would not be at all sorry to see Debuchy given a run out over the next couple of games. There is plenty of football to be played in the next six months so a little rotation will surely be a wise investment. Joel earned some deserved praise on social media last night. How times change !

My one disappointment last night, as those who follow my line on Twitter may have spotted during the game, was the booing of Bacary Sagna. WTF was that all about? I despair of ( some) of my fellow Arsenal supporters sometimes, I really do.

So there we are – the final match review before Christmas, Arsenal poised beautifully as we go into the holiday and with a season of goodwill and three points to be collected beginning at St Mary’s on Saturday. I have thoroughly enjoyed knocking out these match write ups and the benefit of your informative, wise and measured responses.

And for our Scarfist viewers ?




Happy Christmas one and all.

Comment navigation

Newer Comments →

71 comments on “Arsenal – We are so very ‘umble

  1. Fantastic stuff Andrew,the booing of Sagna was indeed disgraceful,but sadly not surprising.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Boss played a blinder again in the presser.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The officials are only on the pitch to protect th players. That is all.

    Whilst it’s more then reasonable to consider the official has a difficult job ( i think most do understand) it’s also remarkable that this official couldn’t give the easy yellows for those early hacks on the counter, KDB on Walcott* being the screaming example. City had their ‘gameplan’ early on, the crowd weren’t impressed and if the official had been able to give that early and deserved yelow he simply wouldn’t have let himself be bullied by the crowd into showing the yellow to Silva.

    This wasn’t remarkarkable in the context of this isolated match, but that’s not what people are observing, recording and remarking upon. There’s a bigger context, and that’s why this isn’t the forum for it.
    We observed that the AFC midfielders kept on their feet during those opening exchanges as much as they could even though they were the home team. Billy (Joel) may have chosen to tumble given the way City started this game but it was his and walcott’s tackling that caught the eye early on.

    *Of course TW answered in the best way possible!

    We know the “gameplan” adopted by many of AFC’s opponents. We saw it at Norwich. etc. A “gameplan” relies on blatant two handed pushes off the ball not being called. Nothing that would be accepted in most other PL games (Leicester have a billion pelanties), nothing new there.

    What was AFC’s gameplan? This is what was interesting to me as we know what to expect from the predictable officials.
    Here’s my tuppence worth:

    To play out via Koscielny instead of the BFG. Not too obviously, but just enough for followers of this team to notice that during the opening cat & mouse exchanges Koscielny was trying to get involved going forwards a little bit more then usual. That observation is supported by the stats. And of course that’s where the opener came off. A marginal but telling variation in how they set up. It’s a good thing the gaffer doesn’t do tactics!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. If you have not read or watched Arsene’s Press conference this morning take a few minutes to wander over to Arse.com – top, top form, covers a lot of topics, thoughtful, interesting, not a man who looks remotely tired.


  5. Not someone stuck in the past either Andy? Studying data from every game.Who could have guessed?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A man standing on the threshold of further great achievements in football George -that what struck me this morning

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I thought Koscielny was immense. There was a sequence of play when he chased Silva down where he looked like a tiger chasing his prey. It’s high time he’s receiving the adulation we all know he deserves.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It is the desperation of the media to humiliate van Gaal before driving him out of the job that turns my stomach.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. R I P. Don howe.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Another Arsenal man from my childhood bites the dust Sam, in fact the first right back I ever saw in an Arsenal shirt as his arrival and my own at Highbury coincided in the Summer of 64.

    His playing career in red and white was not as distinguished as his coaching career for Arsenal and England. As a coach though he was a real innovator who instilled high standards. He was probably a better coach than he ever was a manager. The Bertie Mee side’s defensive discipline was very much down to Don and the first Double was recognised by fans as the work of them both in harness. He brought through some very good players and some good sides alongside Terry Neill. His England career coaching was impressive throughout.

    I don’t think Don was treated particularly well in his managerial stint at the club from 83-86 but it was no great time for Arsenal or English football. Not a legend, not a giant but a bloody good servant of the club.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Mr Wenger attacks the scribblers’ attempt to sack LvG. Result a scribbler in the Daily Mirror, claims Mr Wenger did not support the Special One.

    A class in his own time, re the comment about the local MP for the Ems! Football, not politics.

    Why employ sports editors?


  12. LVG has a complete meltdown in his presser, after Arsene Wenger gives him his full support.

    That’s really disrespectful.


  13. LVG is 100% correct with his actions today towards the media, they are nothing but a shower of shit stirrers and deserve as little respect to be shown to them as they have to LVG and oh so many others.

    from utd blog MUFC latest

    Here are the main points from the press conference, which lasted less than five minutes:

    Louis van Gaal started his press conference by asking for an apology, which resulted in silence from those without a backbone:

    “Has anybody in this room not a feeling to apologise to me? That’s what I am wondering.

    “I think I was already sacked I have read. Or have been sacked. Or that my colleague [Jose Mourinho] was here already.”

    Van Gaal making a point about family and friends reading the stories, which have so far been 100% incorrect:

    “What do you think that happens with my wife or with my kids? Or with my grandchildren? Or with the fans of Manchester United? Or with my friends? What do you think?

    “They have called me, a lot of times, and also Arsene Wenger is saying something about that.”

    Van Gaal confirming that he was only at the press conference because he had to be:

    “Do you think I want to talk with the media now? I am here only because of the Premier League rules. I have to talk with you. But I can only see that when I talk to you that you put it in your context.”

    Van Gaal stated that he felt no warmth from the media, but feels it from his club:

    “I have tried to lift the confidence of my players. I have done everything this week.

    “I have held meetings, evaluation meetings with the players, with members of staff, I have held a Christmas lunch, I gave a speech and I feel the warmth and the support of everybody at Carrington, this AON Training Complex.

    “But I didn’t feel that [warmth] in the media. I can imagine that you can write about that subject.”

    Van Gaal speaks about the club position in the league, fifth, and how they can be back in the top again:

    “We are not in a good position but four weeks ago we were in first place and in about four weeks we can again be in that position again.”

    Van Gaal telling the present journalists to stick to the facts, enjoy the wine and mince pies and have a good Christmas and New Year. The Dutchman then left the press conference without answering any question:

    “You have to stick by the facts and when I get calls from Ed Woodward, Sir Alex Ferguson and David Gill, because you are creating something that is not good, that is not being the facts, and now I have to answer questions. I don’t think I want to do it.

    “I am focused on Stoke City. I wish you a merry Christmas I wish you a Merry Christmas and also maybe a Happy New Year when I see you.

    “Enjoy the wine and a mince pies.”

    Before the press conference took place, Louis van Gaal held an interview with MUTV, which he does before every press conference. This is where the manager gave much of the important information ahead of the Boxing Day clash with Stoke City. The manager spoke about injuries, suggesting that the crisis is not over and more of the same since before the defeat to Norwich City. Van Gaal said:

    “It is more or less the same, so there is no difference, only that Phil Jones played 90 minutes against Norwich and had no reaction. That’s a good signal.

    “I think Darmian shall come [back] next week and then maybe against Chelsea, we have to see that but, of course, we have injuries that take a long time. For example, Shaw, Valencia and Rojo, and you cannot change that.”

    Liked by 1 person

  14. afcstuff ‏@afcstuff 4h4 hours ago
    Arsenal’s current points total (36) is higher than at this stage in 14 of 18 previous seasons under Wenger. #afc


  15. I happened upon a rare “nice” interview on the fan sham TV (but let me know if you think differently):

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Sure am sorry to see Don Howe died. Thanks Don for all you did for AFC.Another underrated part of the Arsenal world, I hope he isnt forgotten to soon, as football moves into another era blokes like Don tend to be forgotten but we wouldnt be in the place where we are now.
    RIP Don.


  17. correction:(duh)…we wouldnt be in the place where we are now without people like Don.


  18. how does one get in tourch with the official site… those in the know shpuld tell them to correct the typo in this ehading

    Don Howe, 1935-2915

    certainly he didn’t stay that long! 2015 and not 2915!


  19. disgraceful back page on the rag of a sun today. Really hope Man Utd ban them from all their press calls from now on.


  20. New post up


Comment navigation

Newer Comments →

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: