Arsenal – Good result, hesitant display


Good evening Positivistas,

With an early kick off, a windy, wet day on the South coast the safe collection of three points with not too much difficulty is the result all of us were looking for. We slide into third place behind champions elect Leicester and Spurs, a week of preparation for the blockbuster seven days hence.

Of today’s game ?

That was certainly not a ‘classic’ Arsenal performance or even, if I am being honest, much of a game of football at the unfortunately named “Vitality” stadium. We started the better than the home side it has to be said, a little sharper and quicker. We imposed that quality with two chances and two excellent finishes, and then settled back to see out the next 70 minutes of the game. For much of the second half however our play seemed hesitant and we were not quite convinced what we were about. A third goal would have killed the game but we seemed reluctant really push for it. It may be I was not the only one eyeing-up next Sunday’s fixture long before the official end of today’s game.

I thought our back five put in a good display today. Cech never put a foot or hand wrong on an afternoon where the ball was affected by the weather. Kosc and Gabriel were solid, but for one nasty first half slip by the Brazilian with Hector saving his arse, and Nacho put in his usual 93 minutes of concentrated professional effort.

Going forward Ramsey played well and kept going for the full distance when others we clearly flagging. Flamster was generally good even though he was fortunate to stay on after his chien lunatique first half effort. The Ox was better and can satisfaction in a well taken goal. Sanchez looked generally out of sorts – not like himself at all – I suspect illness.

For the Cherries they were lively enough all over the park without ever piercing our defensive shield. It was not until the very end that Cech was really tested. Loads of effort and probably, when someone shows me the stats, loads of possession, but no guile, no cunning. Just the same offensive approach recycled time after time for 93 minutes. Commiserative pat on the shoulders for Smith, Arter and Ritchie but their best player in red and black for me was Pugh who might just have turned it. AFCB have enjoyed a good run of results recently and they should not be disheartened by defeat today. I remain convinced they won’t go down.

No doubt somewhere someone is preparing a petition on Mr Friend. As you may have noticed recently if people want to post links to these petitions on here I am content allow them through the filter. I thought the referee was really rather good today, and helped by two sets of players who did not feign injury or roll around (very much).

Onwards to next Sunday from a solid if unexciting foundation today. I saw no injuries or obvious knocks. Arsene is clearly being cautious with Sanchez and Le Coq as they pick up first team action again. We are scoring again which is a relief and the finishing of both goals was good quality.

Enjoy your Sunday and we shall meet later in the week.

(Snap of Mesut sucking his thumb from the Guardian in case you wondered – odd lad)

47 comments on “Arsenal – Good result, hesitant display

  1. Andy you obviously missed Mesut explaining his goal celebration. Not odd at all actually. Oh, and your persistent trolling about refs is going to pass unremarked. I’m not biting.

    Liked by 2 people


    The boss spoke to the media after Arsenal’s 2-0 win against Bournemouth. Below is a transcript of what he said:

    on the game…
    We had a strong start and we were 2-0 in front with a good convincing performance. After that we were weak in some periods and we suffered a bit more. It was important for us to not concede a goal. In the end the second half was about keeping the result than continuing our flow in the game. It was an important three points for us.

    on the second half…
    There were some moments where Petr Cech had to make some saves. It was very close to the end but I don’t think they created many chances. Bournemouth is a good team. They maintained that physical level from the first to the last minute and I think they can beat anybody.

    on Ozil…
    He has become a very important player. He has added a fighting attitude today. It was a top, top, top performance from him today.

    on his goal…
    He scored with his right foot which is very interesting for us. If he scores with his right foot he will become even stronger.

    on Flamini possibly being sent off…
    I didn’t see it like that. I’m fairly sure at the start it was a free-kick to us because Flamini was there first and I didn’t see how high he was. He was first on the ball, I don’t even think he needed to tackle. It was maybe both. Maybe it was a foul from Flamini because he had high feet, I have to look at it again. I still feel that he was first on the ball and went for the ball and didn’t go for the player. It would have been harsh.

    on why it was important to get a win…
    For two reasons, we hadn’t won in a while, we had gone four games without a win and when you play at the top it is a long period so your confidence drops a bit. Leicester were running away and us playing them next week makes the game very interesting.

    on closing the gap…
    In one week Leicester have beaten Liverpool and Manchester City. That means that they suddenly become the favourite to win the Premier League. That makes our game on Sunday a big one.

    on sustaining a title challenge…
    On what basis do you say that? We have been in the title race and we are still in it. We cannot control people’s opinion and we need to show that we believe in it. We have to do it. It is still a long way to go. Leicester City is a favourite and we have a big game at home against them and I hope we have enough quality and nerves to deal with that.

    on making a statement…
    We needed to win the game. I don’t want to be too dramatic making statements. A game away from home in the Premier League is difficult to win for everybody. We needed to win and we won. In the last three away games we played against Liverpool who equalised in the last minute and we played at Stoke which was 0-0. We came here today and won so I believe that we have shown good performances. We played with 10 men against Chelsea. We created many chances against Southampton.

    on confidence after not scoring…
    The confidence goes quickly. For the strikers even more so.

    Copyright 2016 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/20160207/wenger-on-ozil-flamini-and-title-race#HKhkP452q3mKWwe2.99


  3. Aww it’s for his niece Mira – that’s sweet

    Hopefully uncle Mesut will have an opportunity to demonstrate it again soon

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Anicoll

    You are a diplomat and we people like you to save people like me from themselves. I thought we were awful…..


  5. I have been accused of some terrible acts GP and called some hard names

    But never the ‘d’ word !



  6. Gary Neville’s Valencia lost again, this time 1-0 away to Real Betis


  7. today Cech had his 12th clean sheet in 25 BPL games, he has let in 22 goals in the other 13 games


  8. that does not look good for Zouma


  9. reports from Spain suggest that Gary Neville is on the verge of being sacked by Valencia

    Squawka Football ‏@Squawka 39m39 minutes ago
    Gary Neville’s La Liga record as Valencia manager:


    Goals: 8
    Conceded: 13
    Wins: 0
    Clean sheets: 0


  10. This season Arsenal have conceded only once in 7 BPL games that Gabriel has played a full 90mins in. The 2-1 home win over Everton


  11. you know on the subject of Gary Neville, the great pundit but so far a useless manager, could the flip side be that Thierry Henry will be a great manager


  12. Georgakos – It is much too overdramatic to say we were awful. Going foward, yes, we were hesitant or unconvincing, but defensively we were sound, quite comfortable. Overall it was a professional performance.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. GP, I don’t think we were awful but certainly disjointed. We have performed better recently and not been rewarded with 3 points.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. some manchester journos are claiming that Guardiola has clause that if City don’t make top 4 he does not join them. could be pro utd journos just stirring it. City have a six pt lead over Utd in race for top 4


  15. The old fart’s thoughts
    No league goals in how long? Then like the proverbial bus, 2 in two minutes. And both of them good goals to watch. When the first went in I had to think what to say so unaccustomed are we to seeing goals at the right end.
    But what skill did Oz bring to scoring that goal? Olly did well to get his header from Rambo’s chip back to Oz but the height of the ball was nigh on impossible to make a strike on target…unless your name is Mesut Ozil. That was something else.
    Rambo then provided the pass from which the Ox not only broke his duck for the year, but apparently scored his first goal away from home since he was playing for Southampton some 5 years back. Let “hallelujahs” ring out…Ox has scored.

    Obviously two goals in such a short space time was a bit too exciting for the troops and a few mistakes started appearing. From one of which Hector Bellerin made up an amazing amount of ground to prevent what would have been a relatively easy shot on goal. Mind you Petr was again in top form and made several fine saves later on.

    Next week could be more than interesting with the top 4 playing each other. Here’s to giving the Foxes our huntsmen and the dogs again.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Mohamed ELNeny ‏@ElNennyM 6h6 hours ago
    New baby thanks allah

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I suppose you chaps are right but I’m pissed off at the Spuds having such a superior goal difference…

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Poor Zouma, we could hear his shrieks of pain….


  19. one week before we play Leicester City, Ben Wrigglesworth who was their head of technical scouting has announced that he is now First Team Video Scout for Arsenal FC, he had been on “gardening leave” from LCFC for the last month.
    Arsenal are still keen to bring in Leicester City assistant manager/chief scout Steve Walsh.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. can anyone explain what Ramsey has done so wrong for him to, despite winning man of the match today, pre-assist for first goal, assist for second goal, and overall a fine display, still have hoards of Arsenal fans all across the web, still be so negative towards him, is he some sort of un-punished killer, or racist, or adulterer, has he BO, does he beat women, really what is the reason for the hate towards him.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Andy, a very quick summary, WOW!

    To stir a pot or two!

    Luis Enrique, over his first watch of 100 games is the equal to the Guardiola fellow. Better than Rikkaard or Cruyff? Source: El técnico asturiano alcanza los 100 encuentros con el Barcelona igualando el récord de imbatibilidad de Guardiola (28)

    The football scribblers, will give the credit to the 3 Musketeers?

    COTG, back in the title squabble! A repeat of the last result against Leicester, thank you very much.


  22. Ed, some dork on UA wrote this ages ago, but it basically answers your question:


  23. Eddy: Take Steww’s advise, DNFTFT.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Very good to win again.

    I thought Arsenal wold push on and trash the home team after scoring the quick brace.


  25. Great write up A5, two great written pieces in one day and the Gunners win, and equal second…many thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Re: Gary Neville – said this before but it I have little sympathy for him. I know Wenger has been publicly very gracious and supportive explaining how a coach needs time to implement his ideas, how a young coach learns by trial and error, etc. But I can’t get out of my mind how Neville was so judgmental and savage in his assessments of coaches with as much experience as his age. He was bang out of order in claiming that Wenger was “arrogant” and “naive” in for installing Coquelin and Cozarlo as his two CDMs.
    As the Greeks taught us, he is now paying the price of Hubris whose excessive pride led to his nemesis.

    Liked by 3 people

  27. Superb A5. That’s quite some round-up.

    You mentioned the wind and rain. Also, to me, the pitch looked difficult and small. I think the correct word from the preview comes into play: Context.

    I’m so pleased at the win.

    Shotta, I note your earlier post re Steww’s lyrics, and entirely agree.

    Alabama Gooner, thanks for your account of the the Twitter stuff, and I’m sorry to hear you go through this stuff. Your response/the path you choose seems correct to me.

    I think I’ll wait and see the full match again before I decide if Arsenal were really poor. That certainly wasn’t my impression whilst watching, although there were moments when I worried. (Surely most people watching their team have these moments?)

    I’m trying to remember the last time I heard plundits insist Arsenal’s opponents’ should’ve had a red card, followed by multiple replays – not only following the incident, but also during analysis, with managers and players all heavily quizzed.
    Obviously, nobody will talk about the penalty Nacho should’ve got. (Even the plundit denied it – whilst the replay showed the contact. Another thing I’ll look out for on the ArsPlayer, later).

    I thought a few of B’mths player’s “played” for fouls (with that Entitlement thing teams have honed against Arsenal). I wasn’t impressed.

    Still, it was a deserved win in difficult circumstances. I’ll still resist any supposed urge to visit so-shall meedja.

    Forward, Arsenal.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. I’m worried that the team is not clicking offensively just yet. The front three seem a bit off the pace and are not in synch. I hope the victory today gives them a bit of confidence and they start playing better because we have season defining games coming up.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. The lack of synchronicity among the front three concerns me. We need them to start firing on all cylinders because we have some season defining games coming up.


  30. Ed, your garden variety dumb fuck doesn’t like Ramsey because they don’t understand his role in the team.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. gains for me its not a matter of them not liking him, its way beyond dislike, I can understand someone disliking a player to some degree, or not even rating someone very highly, I’m not beyond pointing out our players poor performances(no really, I do that) but its just plain crazy how over the top it goes when it comes to Ramsey, its clearly hate from some, as I said earlier, even with his man of the match performance today, the boo boys are out in force, they actually seem to want him to fail. I can not recall any Arsenal player getting this bad of treatment. Yes many get it in the neck when they have a poor game, but Ramsey gets it every game from this mob. He is the Wenger of the players.

    Liked by 2 people

  32. rantetta AFCB players certainly played for fouls, and they kept demanding the ref card our players, they got frees for falling over, one even got one for slipping and fouling Ramsey. As I said during the game, the Ref could only see one teams fouls. Thankfully he did not fall for their demands to send off Flamini.


  33. I watched my daughter’s Under 12 team play up a year and win handsomely despite it being the most physical encounter they’ve had all season. The umpires pretty much called it right although our girls learnt plenty. As have our lot: Mesut and Ox and Aaron et al. And they will keep learning because they really want to. Any Arsenal fan who loathes Aaron is either a bone – headed moron or a Spud in disguise. As Stew said this morning it is not worth bothering with them and we are better off here. It would be like me taking a position on the Superbowl and claiming all knowledge (and on that theme little miss Alabama G who should I shout for?). Make no mistake today was just what the doctor ordered and I am over the proverbial.

    Liked by 4 people

  34. anyone notice the rise in attacks on Kroenke from arsenal fans today, I notice a lot of it is being promoted by the AAA/WOB, it seems they have finally realized all their effort to get Wenger out has failed, and the soundbite that “as long as Stan is here, Wenger is safe”, has given them a new idea, get Stan out and Wenger goes too. Its funny how insulted so many of these fans are after realizing that any fan buying a ticket or any piece of merchandise or paying a TV football subscription, is a “customer”, and that it has always been the same. a “loyal fan” is just merely a “repeat customer”,
    It does seem that this realization has hit a whole group of our fans at the same time, and that is one of the reasons for the recent rise in attacks on the web, of non “local Fans”, I think some on here have been in recent days/weeks had experience of the “your not a local fan” thing.
    the laughable thing is that this section of AAA/WOB actually think they can make themselves important or relevant, (they actually would say important again or relevant again), as they seem to thing they had power once.


  35. Benik AfobéVerified account
    It was nice to see some old faces today. Thanks for the nice words and shirt after the game @_OlivierGiroud_. Top guy all the best!

    Liked by 1 person

  36. foreverheady you have to go for the panthers, if for nothing else than it shits people off that they have a black quarter back, and that is a whites only position.


  37. Cech has 12 BPL clean sheets this season, we only had 11 last season(szczesny and ospina), and 14 the season before(Szczesny 13 and Fabianski 1).


  38. you know how the media either decided or were briefed that Flamini, Arteta and Rosicky will not be getting new contracts at AFC for next season. I can understand those conclusions when Rosicky has 1 sub appearance all season and we don’t know if he will play again this season due to injury, and Arteta only has a few games involvement and is not even getting picked to be on the bench. But Flamini is playing lots of games, yes probably due to others being injured, but is’nt that what having squad players is for, this season so far Flamini has played in 14 of 25 BPL games and 18 of our total 37 games so far.
    So I ask three questions,
    1. would anyone be surprised if he is given a new contract,
    2. shouldn’t someone who is deemed good enough to play so much in our team this season be offered a new deal
    3. wouldn’t it be worth keeping him just for the piss boiling of the know all fans who hate him.


  39. me i would rather the team remains intact cos all our younger players coming into the squad can be listed as home grown and these ones will be good mentors for them! they still have at least a year or two more to offer while the younger ones fond their feet!

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Eddy – I love that little quote from Cloughie. That is why a real united team doesn’t give two shits what outsiders say. A real leader like Wenger will always talk about the role of individuals within the team notoutside of. Hence when Sczchney harmed the team he was cut off ruthlessly, same happened to Debuchy. I suspect Flamini will do anything and everything for the team irrespective of his limitations. Hence, in the absence of Santi, he is always on the team sheet.


  41. Bloody hell,stew & Andrew in one day,how spoiler are we? Big game next week now,if we beat em,it will be interesting to see how they react. I went to the same game last season and they were fantastic against us.

    Liked by 2 people

  42. I’ve seen Flamini’s two footed lunge on the ball several times now.
    i have no problem with it.
    It was nowhere near a Bournemouth player – despite those cunts wanting him sent off.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Darn. It’s too late now for me to tell anyone who to root for in the Super Bowl. 4th quarter now, with 9:00 minutes to go. I don’t really have a dog in the fight, but sentimentally I’d like to see Peyton Manning win another one, so I’m pulling for the Broncos. I think Eddy’s comment about the Panthers and their quarterback might be a little exaggerated. I happen to like Cam Newton, and I know lots of others who do too. But, I get your point. Cam does seem to attract a lot of irrational hate: kind of like Aaron, as you pointed out so eloquently. The difference is Cam doesn’t get it from his own fans.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. New post up – from George !!


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