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Arsenal – Steady as she goes

whiteheat2as4

Güete Morge Positivistas,

A mood of satisfaction this morning after events at the Ems yesterday evening. The ship is off the rocks, the holes in the hull patched, re-floated, and back on course. Half way point, top of the league, coping well with long term injuries to players who appeared to be pivotal, playing good football, and probably starting 2016 in pole position (barring an upset at the KP  tonight) – not too shabby.

Yesterday’s game, as it played out, was not what I was expecting with AFC Bournemouth playing a lot more football than I anticipated. No suggestion of settling for a draw or coming only to stifle and spoil at all from the visitors. I have watched the Cherries a couple of times this season on TV and I still would not recognise any of their players if he sat next to me on a bus. They have a combination of hard working and apparently very fit players, and most seems comfortable on the ball. They lack a real goal scoring threat and Cech did not have much to do. If they can address that weakness, and I read AFCB also have injured players to come back, they are good enough for a mid table finish.

We started a little hesitantly I thought, perhaps still aching after Saturday’s hammering, but gradually assumed control. Our German maestro gradually found the time and space to place his passes and pick out team mates. I thought Ox and Aaron also worked well and got a grip on the midfield against our industrious opponents, the key to dominating the match. The goal when it came was a surprise too. Gabriel found himself in an acre of space for the first, with Bournemouth’s defence asleep. Good header nevertheless. No mistake. As against Spuds earlier in the Autumn we came across a side who appeared to have a fatal weakness against our corners and high balls into the box. I have no idea why certain teams in certain games fall apart like that but I never look a gift horse in the mouth. There followed a flurry of goal scoring chances with the visitors rocking on their heels, but no killer second.

There was a slight edginess until our second on 63 minutes, a classic very Arsenal goal. Olivier’s touch exquisite and Mesut’s placing of the pall past Boruc precise and deadly.

Thereafter we settled back and ceded possession and space to Bournemouth for the final twenty. As in the first half we created another handful of chances that could have racked up the goal difference. Rewatching the chances in slo-mo and from multiple angles they look easy don’t they ? Shows what I know. With both sides beginning run out of gas after two games in three days the Cherries finished on the front foot but came no nearer to spoiling Peter Cech’s new PL clean sheet record.

Arsene took the risk in rotating but those players he brought in all played well, one and all. In the past when a player has been given a chance after a spell on the bench they have often been ‘too eager’ and messed it up. Young Callum earned well deserved plaudits, a little wild at times which would get him into trouble on another day and against less honest opponents, but fully competent. The notion of Le Coq on the sidelines and Matty unavailable is not the worry it was a month ago.

A few days off now before another home game against team with the fans for which the phrase “long suffering” was surely created.

 

Enjoy your Tuesday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

About anicoll5

Arsenal supporter, 59, Dad, harmless and humourless, political militant moderate, school governor and worker bee

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84 comments on “Arsenal – Steady as she goes

  1. I thought he was talking about John Thomas, dc – but I guess he knows where to put that. As for me, I’m so senile, I’ve forgotten.

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  2. Seems Debuchy is a goner according to the remarks by the boss in his presser.

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  3. Reports on BBC football website this morning suggest Man City’s Captain Vincent Kompany is going to be out of action for a further 4 weeks.

    I suppose they might bid for Stones?

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  4. d_c: City will go crazy in the window. They have form. Bony anyone.

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  5. With the collapse of the price of a barrel of oil Shotts, and no upturn in sight, they may find themselves a little short. Perhaps the Sheikh can persuade his new Chinese partners to weigh in with a few hundred million $ ?

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  6. I see Citeh more in the Ashely Williams market perhaps – a solid journeyman with proven CL experience – perhaps they could do a straight swap for Mangala ?

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  7. letting Debuchy go at this stage is a big gamble. With the injuries in midfield, a problem with Hector would then leave us short all over. If Callum is required to cover CM or CB then we will be looking at Taf to step up. I believe he can depending on the circumstances, a big game might make it difficult for him.
    So far our injuries have been midfield, a defensive crisis needs to be avoided at all costs.

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  8. All departures have to wait till the summer… only additions to be allowed at this stage… this is not the tme to disrupt a winning team based on sentiments… there are enough games to play going forward is his national manager is serious to pick him. i recall diarra cutting short his arsenal career cos he was desperate to make the world cup team… not sure he ever did

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  9. Wenger on Elneny: “Unfortunately we cannot announce anything at the moment about this player because nothing has been concluded.”

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  10. The problem Wenger has with Debuchy is, for MD to get in the France Euro squad, he has to be regular starter, rotating him in here and there, or 15 minute sub will not get him selected for France. So does Wenger keep him, knowing how much this will upset MD, do we want an unhappy player in the squad, we all know how it works, MD will have many friends in the team, he will be voicing his unhappiness to them, if Bellerin has a couple of bad games and does not get dropped, MD is likely to be whispering in his friends ears, and all of a sudden we have problems in the camp. Now if we do let him leave, we either have to make it a loan deal with 24 hour recall option, or we have to bring in another back up RB. There are rumors that Srna will join if MD is allowed to leave. This would make sense, Srna is 33, his last chance to of a big move.

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  11. team news for Newcastle game – no new injuries, and Flamini has a chance to be back. AW says he will rotate.
    Alexis probably not ready, but is likely back for Sunderland next week.
    Arteta is back in full training but is not match fit so can not be selected.
    Rosicky is 3 weeks away from returning to full training.
    Wilshere will likely be back by end of February.

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  12. If Matthieu Debuchy feels he has to move on then fair play to him. I have no problem with a player who is over 30 deciding to look for a club where he can play regular first team football rather than sit on the bench behind a much younger replacement, and a replacement who is only likely to get better. Two freak injuries have spoiled the time he has been at the Ems. He may well be right to cut and run. I doubt we would get much of a fee but we are hardly short of cash.

    Clearly if Debuchy did move then almost certainly I would have to steel myself because in the following game Hector would be struck down by some season ending injury. Nevertheless I am unconcerned.

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  13. I do wonder could we do a deal with West Ham, Debuchy to them for rest of season, with Jenkinson back to us.

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  14. P.I.M.P. ‏@PoznanInMyPants 8h8 hours ago
    Arsenal PL 15/16:
    Longest streaks (# of games):

    winning (5) vs losing (1)

    unbeaten (5) vs winless (2)

    #bounceback

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  15. it seems some of those agenda driven kind, have twisted Wenger’s “I’ll be busy in the transfer window” comment into Wenger says he “will buy four or five” players in January.

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  16. an amazing stat for Ozil this season, of the 18 teams he has played against this season he has scored or assisted against 14 of them, and the four he did not, AFC did not score – WHU(0-2), LFC(0-0), CFC(0-2) and SFC (0-4)

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  17. eduardo, keep the site entralled!

    It would seem this geezer does not rate the past nor the FA Cup.

    – until Wenger moves on, they’ll always be the also-rans in the major competitions. A club in elite purgatory. Always good enough to make it to the big race, never fast or smart enough to push over the finish line in first place. That’s all about the manager. Until he changes, Arsenal fans will continue to celebrate glorious failure.

    Still potty!!!

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  18. from sportwitness, an explanation of the new work permit rules, that may be delaying the Elneny transfer to AFC

    Over the past week or so The Daily Mirror have been running their scoop, which has looked entirely correct from start to finish, about Arsenal agreeing a fee to buy Mohamed Elneny from FC Basel.

    The two clubs have agreed a fee of £5m for Elneny, with Swiss newspaper Blick reporting that FC Basel are working on bringing in a replacement. Yet Blick also said that Elneny would be signing his Arsenal contract today, which didn’t happen.

    A medical was pencilled in for Tuesday, as originally revealed by King Fut, a specialist Egyptian football website, and although Arsene Wenger denied knowledge of that in his Wednesday press conference, he didn’t deny outright that it had happened.

    The hold up is likely to be over a work permit, with Elneny failing the automatic test in the new rules. Previously Elneny would have been fine, being a regular for a FIFA top 70 ranked country.

    However, the new rules limit automatic qualification to the top 50 ranked countries by FIFA. It’s averaged over 2 years, with Egypt up to 57th this year from 60th last year.

    Without an appeal, Elneny doesn’t get a work permit. The 23 year old and Arsenal will have to navigate through a new points based system which judges on transfer fee, wages paid, and the European success of the player’s club over the past year.

    The following explanation is from the excellent Daniel Geey football law website and details the first appeals hurdle.

    The value of the transfer fee being paid for the player is in the top 25% of all transfers to Premier League clubs in the previous 2 windows – 3 points

    The value of the transfer fee being paid for the player is between the 50th and 75th% of all transfers to Premier League clubs in the previous 2 windows – 2 points

    The wages being paid to the player by the applicant club is in the top 25% of the top 30 earners at the club – 3 points

    The wages being paid to the player by the applicant club are between the 50th and 75th% of all the top 30 earners at the club – 2 points

    The player’s current club is in a Top League and the player has played in 30% or more of the available domestic league minutes – 1 point

    The player’s current club has played in the group stages or onwards of the Champions League, Europa League or the Copa Libertadores within the last 12 months and the player has played in 30% or more of the available domestic league minutes – 1 point

    Elneny is unlikely to pick up points for his domestic football with FC Basel, because only the top 6 European leagues are counted. Due to a relatively low transfer fee, and assuming Elneny isn’t set to become one of Arsenal’s better paid players, the midfielder may struggle to pick up the 4 points required at initial appeal status.

    Even if he does get the 4 points, an appeal can still be rejected and, confusingly, if he does not it can still granted when other circumstances are considered. The FA believe that 33% of work permits granted under the old system would not have been granted under the new one.

    Arsenal have no doubt been working on this behind the scenes, and it’s almost certainly the reason a transfer hasn’t been announced yet.

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  19. Great work on Elneny, eduardo. Looks like a no-go. We’re clearly not going to buy someone who can’t get a work permit.

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  20. As for Chicharito, he’s already played for Man Utd (1 game) and Leverkusen this season so he can’t play for anyone else until next season. End of story.
    And Cavani is 29 in six weeks and way overpriced.
    What a load of fluff.

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  21. Lukaku – now that would be interesting.
    But I just made that rumour up to see if the fluffmongers recycle it.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Oh – I see I’m behind the times – Little Pea can play for 3 clubs in a season. But since he’s already played for Leverkusn in the CL, why would we buy him?

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  23. well dkg it might be that Elneny will qualify for a work permit, we don’t know the transfer fee, or his wages, both might mean he gets points towards a work permit, and seeing as Basel have been in CL group stages and later stages of EL, he certainly gets points there.
    and as the article says, even if he don’t reach the 4 pts needed, there are other things that come in consideration, not sure what they are, but could be his age, that he has played at the olympics, in the CL, and EL, is a 3 time title winner, maybe even Wenger’s assessment of his abilities.
    the fact that Basel seem to be signing a replacement for him, suggests they expect the deal to go through.

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  24. dkg has the 2 club rule been changed, so that a player can field for 3 clubs in a season.

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  25. Can everyone just cool their jets on this Elneny business.

    The transfer window doesn’t officially open until Friday 1st January – so signing Elneny or any other Joe Schmoe (or selling, too) is moot until Friday.
    Contacts cant be exchanged until then, and Dick Law has been sent to Rymans to get enough fax paper rolls to see the club through January.

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  26. Ozil is a genius..
    I pointed out Ozil’s fitness last season (never doubted his ability or his desire) and i correlated it to the fact that he seems to be a smoker, which i admitted was speculation but was an informed guess.

    Voila!

    I give half the credit to the management for Ozil’s contribution this season.

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  27. a nearly genuine ARSENAL signing and you expect people to cool down, when they have spent time dissecting and preparing and announcing and renouncing the arrival of rumoured targets in the past? not a change… an AW signing is like a rare and precious jewel being few and far between and everyone wants to claim a scoop which is no mean feat cos for all the romours and speculations, arsenal hardly do business in the public view!

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  28. Shard – many thanks for posting that article. As ever, the world of football is a mere mirror of the world at large.
    But I will now subscribe to the Irish Times for life after that article.

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  29. Eduardo – FIFA Rules on player registration as of Oct 2015:
    “Players may be registered with a maximum of three clubs during one season. During this period, the player is only eligible to play offi cial matches for two clubs. As an exception to this rule, a player moving between two clubs belonging to associations with overlapping seasons (i.e. start of the season in summer/autumn as opposed to winter/spring) may be eligible to play in offi cial matches for a third club during the relevant season, provided he has fully complied with his contractual obligations towards his previous clubs. Equally, the provisions relating to the registration periods (article6) as well as to the minimum length of a contract (article18 paragraph2) must be respected.”
    So that bit about “may be able to play in official matches for a third club” could possibly be used as a loophole given that the right amount of money changes hands ha ha.
    Hernandez came on as a sub against Newcastle in United’s third match of the season and was transferred to Leverkusen about 10 days later. Not that I want him, mind you. It’s just all this speculation about him. I would have made up a story about Lukaku if I was going to make one up – far more exciting player in my not so ‘umble opinion.

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  30. Imagine a GazCorp squad with the likes of Lukaku, KDB, Mata, Schurrle, etc.

    The special one did a special job this time round and I for one am grateful.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. I feel like I should make an effort to give Steww the day off tomorrow, New Year’s Day. The season is still long, a little bit of rotation through the Xmas Crunch could be wise.

    I’ll be subittiting a text to the Masters for pending approval later today.

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  32. well dkg its clear that Hernandez would not be eligible to play for AFC this season if we signed him in January, so a real silly season story. He played in the 2 CL qualifiers for utd this season too. Journos really are a breed apart, when they have the gall, or is it stupidity to push forward such a transfer story.

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