Arsenal – Our storm is past


head up

Good morning Positivistas,

I trust this Monday morning finds you bouncing happily into the new week, seven days of opportunity with Spring emerging all around us. I feel quite chipper myself, as you can probably tell.

I had a good day out yesterday. Good company, good weather, good food, good football, even the railway functioned for once to the specification set out in the schedule, so there was very little to lower my mood.

Of the game itself we dominated, scored once and should have scored more. Very nice goal by the way, clever from Danny and Alexis, a real ‘pick-the-lock’ strike. We did not however trouble the scorer again and a speculative shot from Bolassie in the 79th transformed a decent performance against a solid Palace side into the draw. As we know any Arsenal result, W, L or D, has the nutcases of both wings of the social media civil war reaching for their expletives and last night did not disappoint in that regard. Twitter hummed with indignation, the Scarfists howled with righteous fury. Was it ever thus ?

I thought we played well. I was particularly impressed with my current favourite player Mo Elneny who has slotted in beautifully in the box to box midfielder role. Even in the few weeks he has been in first team action his tackling is more crisper and his positional sense better. There is no evidence I have seen that Mo succumbs to the traditional complaint of players who join from Euro clubs that they struggle with the intensity of the EPL game or to last 90 minutes. Irrespective of which players return to fitness over the next few days I think Arsene will be reluctant to take our Egyptian out of the firing line.

Elsewhere on the pitch I would be hard pushed to pick out any outstanding performer for AFC, or to identify anyone who had a noticeably poor day. Everyone was 6 or 7/10. My impression on a few occasions yesterday was that our possession game worked well to the edge of the Palace box. We passed round the visitors, the players used their speed and guile to get us into the area in which their goal could be put under threat …………………………… But then we sort of “stopped”, took a breath, hesitated, checked our progress, I don’t quite know how to describe it, but in that half second the momentum of the move expired. The next ball was never quite the right one, the pass went astray, a defender got their head in the way etc. We seemed to lack confidence to press with no break in the fluidity of our movement. I would be interested if the ProZone monitoring and stats can pick that kind of subtle change (or whether it is just in my head) ?

I thought Hector looked tired and in need of a rest. He was not running with the ball as he has been, and his crossing radar was awry. I thought Olivier looked frustrated to not get on earlier and he certainly looked busy in the 20 minutes he had. I expect at least those two to change on Thursday. And will Aaron step in for Alex Iwobi against the Baggies ?

And last but not L’East even Roger, not one of the PL’s finest in my view, had a good game. I know, I know, it is an addiction on my part.

Palace celebrated at the end the point that I suspect makes it mathematically impossible for them to drop. In fact they did OK, “disciplined” is the best word. I was impressed with Zaha and his final 20 minute contribution. I would like to see that sort of contribution from Theo and/or Joel. I am not quite sure why Theo is first choice over the Costa Rican at the moment from the bench.

Onwards to West Bromwich Albion and a Thursday game – Thursday! – most odd. Another club with no real requirement to turn in a good performance at the Ems but Pulis is a professional and he will send a side out to compete.

Now get out there and give Monday hell.

* and thank you to Ian/Gf60 for the extraordinary picture today !

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121 comments on “Arsenal – Our storm is past

  1. Fin: “The day I get bored with AFC might be the day when they spend £30M on a rookie non-home grown status CB of Mangala ‘s apparent or current quality.”

    Holy shit was he awful today. Also, Pellegrini having to rely on a midfield pairing of Fernando and Fernandinho is awful management. As soon as he took Yaya off and paired the Fernandos together in the middle, I knew Newcastle were going to either draw or win outright. City were purposefully bypassing their midfield in order to keep the ball away from the Brazilians.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oliver Kay ‏@OliverKayTimes Apr 18
    Chelsea have won Uefa Youth League again — and are on course for fifth FA Youth Cup in seven years. Exciting times ahead for Vitesse Arnhem

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ha ha ha, RedAction – “I believe best protest is to stay in ground” – this coming only a couple of weeks after they advocated a boycott of the Barcelona game.


  4. with city drawing tonight, LCFC are sure of CL football next season as they can not finish lower than 3rd.


  5. Arseblog has done good this morning.


  6. That home and away chance conversion makes for interesting theorising – and at the very least suggests a blueprint has been adopted by visiting teams. A blueprint that perhaps relies on a reluctance on the ref’s part to reward attacking play with correctly given cards, fouls and penalties – but which also has at its heart a strange game of chicken. The end of last season (when we were seemingly cruising towards second place) began to ring my alarm bells as Emirates goals dried suddenly and this season has been much the same. I have found myself wishing that Podolski was still around (and I was very much of the opinion that it was right to let him go), and also Jack for his directness and ability to ghost past a defender. And I wonder too if it is the paucity of goals at the Emirates and the boringness of the opposition tactics that also contribute to much of the unrest.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. no new injuries for West Brom game, Jack back for Sunday at Sunderland.


  8. Goalscoring at the Ems?

    I would like to see the occasional ball over the top to allow Theo or Alexis or Olivier to run on to it. It may suck aesthetically, but Route One adds to the range of our threat.

    Other than Elneny I would like to see out midfield players having the confidence to strike shots from outside the box more often.

    I would like to see Hector not just charge forward to the edge of the box but carry on with his run and blast the ball at the top corner of the goal. You have the talent son – please, please use it.

    I would like to see more of our corners directed accurately on to the head of Per or Olivier or Laurent rather than hitting the first defender. The unexpected goal from a defender can turn a game on its head, 6-8 a season can transform our prospects.

    I would like to see our free kicks around the edge of the box test the keeper more than once in 20 times ( do I exaggerate ? – I don’t know). Free kicks, corners, dead ball opportunities, the last I recall that we made use of was against Leicester.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. A5, when teams come and defend deep and stick 10 Men behind the ball, the ball over the top is called a shot! Theo would have to be ballboy to collect it.
    In previous years the little diagonal dink ball, as used by Petit and Song, proved more effective but I understand what your getting at.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Our players are coming back to fitness, shame the season is running out for them.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Will Tottenham drop points to Southampton, Chelsea and Newcastle?
    Normally that wouldn’t even be a question.


  12. I must stop winding people up on twitter.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Never, George!

    Liked by 3 people


    Arsène Wenger has revealed the latest team updates ahead of Thursday’s game against West Bromwich Albion:

    on the latest team news…
    Everybody is available from our last game against Crystal Palace. We have no big injuries. We will have a final test today. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is the only one not practising now.

    on Santi Cazorla…
    He has joined normal training and he looks okay, of course still a bit short on the competitiveness front.

    on whether he could play in U-21 play-off…
    We will try to get him maybe more training, and then join us directly maybe.

    on Wilshere…
    He has absorbed well his first obstacle of getting games. That means he has finally got 90 minutes and he has had no setbacks and the positives are that in every game he was sharper. That means he has a good fitness basis. Overall, the progression should be normal. I don’t think he will be available for selection [against West Brom], but from then it is whether I select him or not.

    Read more at http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20160420/team-news-cazorla-the-ox-and-wilshere#lv4WVoITp6gYKAwp.99


  15. The Dean of Football ‏@HectorBaelIerin 5h5 hours ago
    The Dean of Football Retweeted GoonerGirl
    😂😂😂😂 what a dumb fucking question to ask. Glad Wenger said no, as well he should & any manager would have.The Dean of Football added,

    GoonerGirl @Gooner8Girl
    Press: Would u to like explain to disaffected fans exactly why u have made substitutions u have done? Wenger: No

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Ozil on arrival

    “One reason I came to The (glorious) Arsenal because they are famous for their one touch quick passing style”

    Or something like that. As in: he grew up with that impression.

    The insane Groanering dysphorics haven’t even been able to identify AFCs style of football let alone be critical of it for not being what they want it to be (C1966). Which is funny, when you think about it.

    When we see an AFC team struggling with their passing in the final third it is not because the style of football that Özil (& others in Germany) grew up admiring was not modelled on Bareclona C2009 (fair to say that Özil had grown up by then, was on AWs radar and just building up to the 2010 WC and his arrival on the Big Stage) but because…because they are not playing well.

    When the team is playing well they’ll ping it about the place with varying tempo, rhythms and distance too. Such as, I can pick a random example, the first goal in last seasons cup final. So many others to choose from. You can’t always find space behind two or three packed lines of defenders close to their own goal line but if you don’t try the odd one every once in a while then it’ll make the defenders life easier: fair to say the AFC coaches understand that, the players too as the build up for the first goal on Sunday showed.

    Of late the Arsenal have been playing their better football away from home. We all know why,

    Also, fair and reasonable to say, if the opposition is allowed to foul on a fairly regular basis and you are not (not referring to Sunday) then that will have some impact on your play and cohesion.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Deportivo La Coruna 0 – 8 Barcelona, is their crisis over


  18. Barry Frankfurt ‏@barryfrankfurt Apr 19
    The early 90s prophet of Arsenal, @nickhornby, saw this coming…

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Old Trafford tonight, no mention of a boycott, but if even half as many empty seats at Emirates tomorrow the media will be full of Boycott this boycott that, wenger out bla bla bla


  20. Paddy ‏@VieiraPaddy 1h1 hour ago
    Big fan of both Everton and Man United being worse without David Moyes as manager.


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