Arsenal – Just the Pair



Good Morning Positivistas,

Our  FA Cup trip is over, and what a magnificent ride it has been, extending back to the despatch of the Totties on 4th January 2014. 26 months undefeated in a knock out competition ? Two more FA Cups to adorn the stadium bunting. Remarkable and a record to be celebrated, not mourned.

I suppose, if you pressed me, I would have to say I hoped that when we did finally stumble that it would be to lose 5-4 in the FA Cup final at Wembley in extra time, following a game of overwhelming football quality etcetera. As the matters turned out we lost to the odd goal in three against a good Watford side. The goal that actually took them through and us out was in fact a beautiful strike from Guerdioura, among the best of the season that I have seen. I salute the Algerian. Losing at the Ems is never pleasant and in a game against opponents who we defeated quite easily a few months back – that is FA Cup football however, the potential for upset is woven through the competition. It is the season, in both the Premier League and in the FA Cup, where the peasants have stormed the throne.

Of the match itself I see yesterday’s comments following Mr Black’s excellent preview set out most of the factual material and opinion. There seems little purpose of rehashing the thrust and counter thrust again. Clearly we could have done some things better. Until the final seconds it still appeared, to me at least, that we could retrieve the tie. Ighalo had earlier swivelled, shot and scored; as the final grains of sands tricked through the glass Danny swivelled, shot and the ball looped over the bar. I shall remember those few seconds for a long while. That is why I watch football.

Reading the hysterical reaction on social media during the game, and in the aftermath of our narrow defeat I sensed that a few of the normally more sensible fans were using the occasion to vent a little frustration, a cathartic expulsion of words and thoughts that had built up and which required an outlet. The examples of “I never want to see X* in an Arsenal shirt again” (* insert name Chambers, Gabriel, Per, Gibbs, Le Coq, Giroo, Theo, AN Other). Even Alexis and Ozil we not spared the accusatory finger. Perhaps those players who did not feel the angry digital mob at their heels can regard themselves as blessed. A good afternoon to be rested or to carry an injury.

For the best of Arsenal supporters the option must be there to howl at the moon, pointless though the gesture is.

Assuming then that over the past 16 hours or so we have individually and collectively managed to pull ourselves together, where does this leave us ?

Next up Barcelona. The pressure is largely off. We are expected to lose. FCB assume the tie is over, Pique went far as to avoid the game and erase his card count. I suspect that on Wednesday that we shall send out our strongest side and try to take from the Catalans what we can. That Nacho and Hector were rested suggests that they will be in action and busy on Wednesday. Danny will be keen to ensure the fine margins he missed by yesterday can be corrected at the first opportunity. As with yesterday the game will be decide by the team that take their chances.

Right that is my two penneth on matters Arsenal this sunny Spring morning. Enjoy the opening of your week.








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72 comments on “Arsenal – Just the Pair

  1. FT Leicester City 1 – 0 Newcastle United


  2. Reported West Ham target and ex-Arsenal youngster Havard Nordtveit confirms Premier League transfer

    Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Havard Nordtveit has confirmed he will move to an English club on a free transfer this summer.

    The former Arsenal youngster has been strongly linked with West Ham United in recent days.

    Borussia have now confirmed through their website that the midfield anchorman would not be signing a new deal with them when his contract expires this summer.

    They have now quizzed the 25-year-old on his future in an interview for their official website.

    In that interview, he confirmed that a switch to the Premier League is on the cards.

    Asked where he was going, he said: “I want to leave it to my new club to make the announcement, so we agreed that in consideration of the current situation there. But I can say that I am going back to England.

    “I was signed there as a young talent, when I went as a 17-year-old from Norway to Arsenal. But I did not play a match in the Premier League.

    “For any footballer in Norway England is the great goal, and I want to try again.”

    He also said that it was a difficult decision to leave Gladbach and that he had offers from several clubs.

    Nordtveit was on Arsenal’s books between July 2007 and December 2010, although he spent time on loan at Spanish side Salamanca, Norwegian outfit Lillestrom and German team Nuremberg during that spell with the Gunners.

    The 6ft 2in Norway international was bought by Borussia from Arsenal for £800,000.


  3. Bielik, Willock and co were left out of the U21’s tonight, as they have FA Youth Cup semi final first leg v Man City on Friday



  4. Just watching the LEI v NEW game on DVR. Both PA and Twitter were so devoid of comments you would have thought it was a wake, not a game. But my overall impression is Leicester is dragging themselves across the line. Successful so far but when you keep dragging the weight gets heavier and heavier and the distance gets even longer. Listening to the commentators Leicester is an exception and will simply defy the laws of nature. I will applaud them should they succed but sooner or later they will bw victims of human nature.
    (Steww: Note I am steering clear of any specific predictions.)


  5. Thinking of Leicester again: Maybe other competing teams get swept up with the little team that could fable and allow Leicester to make the last 8 games a procession. That is a plausible option as well.


  6. first i was arsenal will never win anything under AW again, then we won the FA cup and cos we came from behind against hull, we were lucky to end the drought, after the initial joy, suddenly it became ONLY THE FA CUP. then we won it again, comprehensively, then it became even more, ONLY THE FA CUP!

    now we are out of it, it became what has been our refuge for the last 2 years and now we have let it go… never mind that the season is not over and we are actually stilll in the CL and EPL race, no matter how far behind.

    we nearly crossed the line against Milan, Monaco, Bayern in the past after a bad first leg. This may yet be the year we cross it against no less than Barca… except the ref misbehaves, we are quite capable of doing that…..

    We may yet win all the remaining games an the EPL and CL then we will be deemed to be lucky again.

    i read that arsenal have thrown away the league so what is to be said f the defending champs with no less than JM and GH working with hem at different times? or the rest that re below us. we and then pool all but won it afew years back only for man city to eventually come and do the business so let all tone down the dramatics till the season is Mathematically over!


  7. I think you are spot on Shotts and Leicester are finding these last few furlongs difficult to negotiate, a combination of fatigue ad that nowadays teams are treating them as League leaders and dangerous. They have managed those absolutely essential 1-0 wins though ( much to our collective frustration) .

    I watched the end of the Toon game only and the highlights and Benitez’s boys could have got a point but a bit of bicycling brilliance decided it in the home sides favour. But for that flash though the game was very even, periods with City on top, periods with Toon pressing for a goal.

    All we can do is try and pick up every point we can and hope for a stumble. It has happened before in league run ins, it will happen again.


  8. A5: It seems almost everybody has given up hope that LCFC will stumble or AFC can still win it. How easily we forget that last year City went on a 10-game run and almost pipped Chelsea at the end, failing by 2 points I think. People easily forget how hard it was for Chelsea to drag themselves over the line. By the same token we are not out of it but we need to stop making stupid defensive mistakes and with a bit of luck, it is doable. Mark you, we need to first find some consistency. If not, we simply won’t do it.


  9. truly it is those weird, seemingly avoidable goals that are really sad… else we could also gt away with winning some of those our lose games 1 – 0! that Swansea game really baffled me


  10. The final humiliation – our rescheduled game against the Baggies moved to a Thursday – a THURSDAY FFS !!

    Come, sweet death, come, blessed rest.


  11. Andrew the WOB’s would say ‘get used to it’ as we are in terminal decline and would do well to make it to the Europa league next season!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Playing football on a Thursday is unnatural Pass, an abomination against all that is good in the Universe and beautiful in the game. It cannot be allowed.

    Where are AST/AISA/RedAction we you need ’em eh ?

    Liked by 1 person

  13. The reason I have little hope is normally to finish strongly you need a steady build up and although we could start hitting the right side of the posts in games and a few goals might go in our general play is not that which would suggest a nine game winning run.
    Secondly while I could see one team slipping up, two is more difficult and then we have city very close and with a better goal difference.
    We also have a squad lacking in confidence and manpower having to make a trip to one of the best teams in the world and then play a early game away to a team full of confidence Just three days later.
    It’s not just the odds thats against us its the evens and everything else as well.
    The Everton game will be so important there is a chance but it’s very small. A title from this position would be immense.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Vincent Kompany out after 5 minutes, looks like he’ll be out for several games.


  15. so much for Barcelona having cheap tickets, imagine if AFC had these prices for the first leg


  16. Groundhog day, it was ever thus! Since Stan the main man, bought the club, it seems March is the month for the quislings to run amok.

    Stasis, what has Amy Lawrence been smoking? The Emirates, London Colney and Hale End Academy are all being upgraded. Is the Arsenal fighting relegation? This is not the late 70’s and early 80’s. WE, are still in the Premier League, in the top four, where is the grief?

    It is half-time in our next match. The Goal Scoring Potential of our front men, is somewhat awry. The Arsenal, can do a Watford! 3 shots on target, 3 goals, Barca, 20 shots off target, Messi et al, all have a hernia?

    Now, cheer up and ignore the scribblers.


    Liked by 1 person

  17. Team News – Koscielny in for Chambers, rest of squad same as Watford game.


  18. Sutton ‏@sutton_01 Mar 14
    Had Wenger been sacked for stealing from the club in 2005 and then gone and managed Spurs he would be more popular today with our fans. #Sad


  19. Osman ‏@OsmanZtheGooner 4h4 hours ago
    Some celebrated Cazorla’s injury and now crying. Others celebrated Ramsey’s injury and have started crying now.


  20. Arsenal issued ‘cease and desist letter’ to Mark Elis. http://www.herefordtimes.com/sport/14269924.Arsenal_Football_Club__concerned__about_former_Hereford_United_coach_s_alleged_actions/?ref=twtrec

    Arsenal spokesman: “Mark [Ellis] has agreed to the terms of the letter, so the issue is resolved from our side.” http://bit.ly/1prGnlL


  21. Alastair Brookshaw ‏@albrookshawAFC 2h2 hours ago
    After 20 years people still react to every tiny ‘mis-speak’ from a guy in his second language but won’t believe a word he says otherwise!


  22. we do create chances… what remains painful is not taking them!!!

    may we take our chances today… 3 shots, 3 goals… game won!


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