Arsenal – Average performance, good result


Boker Tov Positivistas,

I think the lesson I take from this season’s Festive football fixtures is “to expect the unexpected”, and perhaps it will be the theme of the whole 2015/2016 campaign?

Having allowed the in game adrenaline to cool I enjoyed the game yesterday. We were clearly not at our best. After a bright opening we found ourselves out of ideas and the visitors worked their way commendably back in to the game. By the half way mark it was an even contest.

My pre game expectation was that Toon would come for a point, ten players behind the ball all afternoon, park the proverbial charabanc, and cross the half way line only with great reluctance. As matters turned out when they found they were able to and allowed to play football they responded positively. It made for better entertainment, looking back, albeit a little hard on the nerves at the time.

The hysteria about McLaren setting out to ‘kick’ Arsenal out of the game seem misdirected. Precious little dishonest aggression from either side although the Ox was a little fortune that Taylor was following the ball rather than spotting his scissoring an opponent after 20 minutes. Don’t do that at the Camp Nou son, it will be noticed. Colback picked up his traditional weekly booking – regular as clockwork that boy – remarkably consistent. These things happen, no harm done, both sides I thought treated each other and the laws of the game with respect.

Into the second half and for a few minutes the visitors really did have the initiative with Petr Cech earning his corn in his busiest home game since Bayern ( or Spurs !). Man of the Match was not in much doubt. There was little rocking along the back four and, unusually, for our intrepid and older Spanish full back the incisive Geordie thrusts were coming down that left hand side. Nacho had a difficult afternoon by his smooth standards but, to his credit, stayed on the job and put in a few important interceptions and tackles. When we went forward we looked dangerous to the edge of the NUFC box but after that, in the tight confined of Barcode Central, we never managed to find the extra space to put in a killer shot or accurate header.

The one serious error I thought McLaren’s and his boys made in the second half, after about an hour really, and when they were still enjoying possession and creating chances was to start wasting time. It may have been part of their game plan, it may have been because after an hour of running at us they were knackered. That breather for both sides changed the rhythm of the game, as did the introduction of that old piece of Costa Rican deadwood Joel Campbell ! We steadied, and began to move forward again.

And then the goal, described by some as a ‘tap in’, by others as a ‘classic poacher’s’ goal. Probably somewhere between the two but Laurent did very well to find that yard of space that had eluded every other Arsenal player all afternoon and despatch the ball efficiently.

After the goal I thought we were relatively comfortable. Not that Toon did not push us and put in a couple of late headers but our defending was more assured, with Gibbs and later still Chambo on, while the visitors became more ragged and both sides tired on a wet afternoon. And the newly pink cheeked Aaron nearly rounded off the afternoon with a beautiful solo goal. Unlucky son but don’t stop trying the magic. Not aware of any injuries so a good afternoon all round.

New Years Honours List for Arsenal yesterday; Medals for Cech, Nacho, Laurent, and Joel. Mentioned in Despatches the Flamster and Ramsey. Must try harder/naughty step certificates for Theo and the Ox, the former anonymous and the latter still struggling to balance his enthusiasm with doing the simple things well. For the visitors I award the best player pennant to Wijnaldum. I suspect that Mike Ashley will have him in the shop window before long.

A week to rest and recuperate before Sunlun at the Ems and almost certainly a few of yesterday’s starts benched or given the afternoon off. Fat Sam will also rest what passes for first choices among his motley crew of the SS Black Cat. We shall see.

Enjoy Sunday !!

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76 comments on “Arsenal – Average performance, good result

  1. The Ox and Joel seem to give us plenty of cover at the moment.
    The Ox needs game time – and as Andy5 rightfully said – he just needs to hone his game and not force it.
    Ox will be key in our Cup team, hoping we get a long cup run in our own competition!



  2. A shame for Serge at the Baggies not to have made a ‘mark’ but I expect he picked up a bit of knowledge and a few knocks and will come back more mature for that overall experience. I think that, as it say in the Telegraph article, the club will be looking for a second loan this season that provides the boy with some genuine game time, probably in the Championship which seems sensible to me. He wont get better if he does not play.

    Thinking back to our somewhat embarrassing defeat at Hillsborough I guess that while technically Gnabry will not learn much at Wednesday or similar he can learn how to compete in a tough league for a club maybe pushing for a play off place, turning out once or twice every week, and learning to be responsible for his own game, mistakes and all.

    If not the Championship then maybe Scotland might suit Serge where, to my surprise, Zelalem is still doing well enough at Ibrox to have his loan extended and playing regularly.


  3. Help, please:

    BBC site says Özil was booked at 91:30 during Newcy match. I’ve watched the passage of play on ArsPlayer but can’t see Mesut getting booked, or why.

    Anybody know what that’s about?
    I refuse to believe a Select ref of the highest order who’s known for his leiniency towards everything Arsenal, would bitchily make up some infringement (against anyone), suuurrrely! Maybe you’ve watched the game on Sky, and they showed the graphic “Özil yellow cards, 28 this season, and he deserves it for playing wilfully an shit”?


  4. My very vague recollection was that he picked it up for stopping a free kick being taken by Toon as they tried to mount their last minute ‘comeback’ – pretty standard Ranty


  5. For those oldies who remember the early 1970’s another of the Double winning side shuffles off this mortal coil.


    A big, tough centre back with probably more footballing skill than most.


  6. So Rafa has gone.
    Intriguing. Guardiola anyone?


  7. Sorry about that – my wife reporting rumour as fact. She only reads headlines.


  8. this is a translated Q&A with one of Arsenal’s european scouts


    The Scout is on the bottom of the pyramid. I know of that club scout working for twenty years, but his command is not a single transfer. But that does not mean that the wrong doing his job – said in an interview with Sport.pl Thomas Pasieczny, scout Arsenal, the Premier League leaders. He talks about the specifics of their work, the development of Polish clubs and how they see foreign first league scouts.
    You want to know sooner? like us

    Michael Zachodny: How many kilometers have deviated in the last year?
    Thomas Pasieczny: – Exactly I can say for the last fourteen months. At the time, drove eighty-five thousand km.

    How many reports you wrote? – This time for sure a few hundred.

    How many games have you been? – Formerly counted, but after watching several meetings a day at various youth tournaments stopped. It happened that I was on two over several days and scored seventeen matches. Usually a week I’m on three, four.

    I think few people realize how scouts are working. – The biggest problem of this work lies in the fact that most of the time we spend commuting. Sometimes to get to the game you have to spend several hours in the car. If a person is able to get used to, use this time for phone calls, audiobooks that is ok. Even the will journey by car, because I have more freedom than making the air.

    How would you describe the way of your departure to match to carry out the transfer? – Long and winding. We depend on the organization and the club itself.

    There are teams with different structures, decision-making processes, committees transfer of power sole proprietorship.

    It’s very simplified form – after watching the match shall submit a report in a specific format, according to the score sheet. If it is necessary, it immediately specifying that a player suited and affairs should be given gear. Depending on how the club is organized, or there is a further observation or specific actions the type of contact with the agent, the club. You have to realize that there is never that comes into contact with one player at the position. There must be a reserve option.

    What you need to know to bring the player to your club? – How much of your own employer! It seems obvious, but I know how to play my club, what the requirements are, who we are looking for, about which characteristics. Observing the player I imagine, or cope with basic understandings of our tactical coach. I also know the level of the league. The first few things you pay attention regardless of the position? – Each scout has some habit, but need not be stating the obvious. I first pay attention to the adoption of the upper ball, especially in midfield players. I expect it is adopting to the ground. Imposes an example by Sergio Busquets from Barcelona who always brings the ball to the turf and then plays. If a player does it directly from the air, this receiver is harder. Since my work is related to the English league, it’s also look at the intensity of the game, or how to deal with this player is doing. And finally receiving the ball, which is on my list for a simple reason – taking a pass from stacking his ball immediately to the next play. Even the smallest, often difficult to spot the error may slow down the action, allowing rivals to set up on defense. These are the details, but looking at the effects it soon becomes clear how big a role in the match.

    Remember how you started working scout? – It started with sending a letter asking for an internship. Once I got the chance, I tried to break it up – and so every time. His first report, you probably still have it somewhere cataloged, created by Thomas Cywce when he played in Gwarku Zabrze. I just went to the game with a piece of paper and wrote down their observations about his game. Later, it changed, reports were more and more professional, I also learned a lot. I had a little luck on your way, but I always knew that I needed to grow. Interest scout career grows, it is becoming more specialized training, such driving alone.

    Can they prepare volunteers for this job? – On this topic I feel like a pioneer, he started training on the Polish market. The interest of the participants was and still is very high, which is why others try to use it. Are the courses prepared? No, but in the same way people after graduation they are not ready to practice their profession. Because they need not only the basics and knowledge, but especially the practice. Courses vary in length, but you can not naczyć man everything in two days. That’s not it. It is important that the person direct, present the basics of working and mobilize for the next steps. Taught by their experience now I know that my workshops must be more practical. Not for the people to me for ten hours listening but performed at this time scout work and getting my remarks, comments. I myself am curious what will come out.

    How can you help yourself in this career? – Search every opportunity to develop themselves, but also to enter the window where they do not allow door. Going to games, watching them on TV and taking notes – it is always useful, the employer will want someone with actual knowledge and knowledge of the local market. It should also analyze their own reports, improve it and make the best formats. In the future, we will work to elaborate reports – because most clubs have already added this is – this does not mean that we can not create their own. I really like to analyze the sheets of individuals, candidates for skautów- show me how this one looks at the ball as he understands it.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. So Rafa went anyway.
    RM now on their 19th manager since Arsène took the reins at AFC.
    A way to make a quick million or two (3,4,5?)


  10. Thanks for the Polish report, eddy. Google Translate always gives heaps of laughs.


  11. I think you can confirm with Mrs Dk the deal has gone through

    Poor bloody Rafa

    It was only one bloody sheep after all


  12. Not so poor Rafa – he had a three-year contract. Of course, that’s only a (sort of) headline – we don’t know the small print. But I don’t think he’ll be poor.
    If I was Gary Neville, I’d be worried. The Valencia fans would clearly have Rafa back at the drop of a hat. Problem is that lightning rarely strikes the same spot twice – even if this sacking does remind a little of Groundhog Day.


  13. more reason for the AAA to dislike Giroud

    “Tell me where [we need players]. Just tell me where! I will explain the opposite judgement,” Giroud said.


  14. i haven’t read it but we could’ve written much the same of bellerin during his time at Watford.
    PA was one place outside of the Arsenal youth blog where you got intriguing reports on gnabbers and bellerin, gnabbers already returned to the German squad after that horror injury? If he’s recovered from his disruptive injury he has a chance.

    Eddy will hopefully be happy but the only way all of Ozil Ramsey and one of Giroud and Walcott get a breather is with the return of gnabbers.


  15. Thanks dk: that’s a good, reasoned and reasonable article. The early 20s can be a hard time for young men. They are no longer treated as special emerging talents (children really) and are suddenly expected to behave like adults – and are treated as such with no allowances made. I’m not sure I would want to encounter Puiis the first time I was pushed out of the nest, and I suspect that is exactly why Arsene sent him there. A touch of tough love no doubt.


  16. I read this morning that it may be Serge’s return from the deserts of West Midlands is hung up on WBA honouring the original agreement concerning his wages for the season, and/or the player and/or Arsenal being able to find another club to take him (and his wages) over until June.

    As I said yesterday hopefully a Championship club will offer him a chance to play a bit of football.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Opening sentences I never thought I would read No 17;

    “Sam Allardyce has accused the Premier League of putting players’ health at risk”

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Sammus Major is suggesting he is going to field a weakened Sunderland team against Arsenal in the FA Cup.

    Not sure how he is going to manage that.


  19. Getting his excuses early with the fans DC.

    According to the Physio Room Sunlun currently have just 4 players out of their 25 man squad injured and unavailable. None of them are “season-ending” or serious. Hardly short of players therefore.

    As for their alleged “fatigue” they have played, like every one else 20 PL games over the past five months, or four games a month.

    Extra demands maybe ? SunLun have not played a European game as far as I can recall since the Anglo Italian Cup in the early 90s and they managed to get knocked out in their second game in the Capital One Cup in September.

    So why are all the players tired exactly Sam ? 25 players have played a total of 22 games on 5 months. allowing for 11 players on the pitch at any one time and 90 minutes per game that averages a total playing time of 871 minutes per player or 9.68 games each, in five months.

    If your players are telling you they are “fatigued” Sam, tell em to cut the shit and train a bit harder.


  20. Barcelona’s transfer ban has been lifted.
    They are now able to play the players they bought in the summer.

    I wonder how match fit Vidal will be?


  21. Definitely sounds like excuses Andrew, especially when you consider how few of Sunderland’s players would also turn out for their national teams.


  22. Good point Pass and I admit I had forgotten International games – while some of SAFC have turned out most have had a ten days or a fortnight at home with their feet up.


  23. New post is up. A new years treat from our friend Muppet


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