Arsenal and the hang of Thursdays


Nga-to delek Positivistas,

Football on a Thursday night eh ? I admit I have had a little chortle about the neighbours seasonal outings to Kazakhstan on a Thursday as they negotiate the rounds of the Europa League. How could I resist ? However I would happily pay the price of a game on the oddest day of the week if it meant a few more fluid and dominant performances as we were treated to last night.

We “dominated” – simple as that. My concerns about Hector being tired were shown within a few minutes to be nonsense as he set about the Baggies’ defence with the relish of a young samurai trying out his new 21st birthday sword. I had also raised a question as to whether Alex Iwobi might have sat out last night’s game as he too has played a lot of football in consecutive games for a 19 year old. Wrong again on my part. The young player showed last night that he is not some experiment that Arsene is dabbling in but Iwobi is a genuine “permanent” member of the first team whose creative spark is relied on. He gives us a slightly different spark. The question for Arsene is how, with Iwobi blooming, Ozil undroppable, Santi due back, Aaron to fit in, Elneny much more than a defensive shield, and young Jack nearly fit how the midfield jigsaw will be put together ?

Having savoured the golden treacle of our performance against Albion we also had the slightly rarer pleasure of enjoying the correct result, the important three points safely bagged and a steady pace back into third place in the PL completed. I do not want to play in the Champions League qualifiers. Let Citeh and their new manager have a little sweat on that one in a busy August (or Manyoo and their new manager). After recent home games when Arsenal have played all the football, made the ball our own and peppered the opposition goal with shot after header after shot, only to end up with a draw or worse, it was welcome.

Of the opposition they were woeful, probably the worst side to come to the Ems this season. They set up for a 0-0 draw with effectively seven defenders/defensive midfield players, then could do nothing when they found themselves opened up by Alexis before seven minutes had passed. Foster’s keeping was on the edge of calamity on night, the second goal was a defensive shambles, his ‘face’ saved him further embarrassment. I heard a statistic on the TV last night something along the lines of “WBA have only managed seven shots on goal in their past eight away games in the PL”. With that on-the-road horror to endure is it any wonder that they managed to shift only 900 of their 3,000 ticket allocation ? 38 games of Pulisball is a steep price to pay for Premier League survival. As with the Stoke fans eventually the Hawthorns faithful will begin to yearn for something creative and entertaining rather than the robotic dross on display from the visitors.

From last night’s firm foundation we set off for the Stadium of Light on Sunday lunchtime in good heart. No doubt Fat Sam will be roaring at his boys to get stuck in. They have nothing else to give so it will have to be a maximum infusion of blood and bone from a Sunlun side wriggling with the noose of relegation, yet again. Deano with the whistle so I am sure we can expect fireworks from Tranmere’s finest.

Enjoy your Friday, but don’t go mad !

  • picture from the Irish Times today




38 comments on “Arsenal and the hang of Thursdays

  1. The old fart’s thoughts

    Happiness is. Such a pleasure to see a change from the desert-like performances of recent weeks. Maybe the players were spurred on by the number of empty seats that showed many supporters were more than a bit p’d off with them.
    Whatever the reason, watching the team go for it last night at speed, was very welcome and the only disappointment was that we didn’t have more goals to celebrate. It could well have been 6-0.

    An eel like wriggle from Alexis enabled him to open the scoring following good work by Rambo. This early start promised much but whilst we were continually knocking on the door, goal line clearances, blocks and good keeping prevented more scoring until a good combination of cleverness from us and rather stupid defending from WBA allowed Alexis to add our second from a 20 yard free kick. Per and Olly joined the wall and left it as Alexis shot between them. There was no defender behind them and the keeper had no chance.

    In between WB had one good attempt from, surprise, surprise, a header that crashed against our bar with Petr hopelessly beaten.

    2-0 at half time was less than we deserved.

    The second half saw a bit more competitiveness from Albion but at no time did we look under pressure as the 71% possession stats showed. Some of our best passing was seen but inevitably a packed defence managed to keep the ball away from the net. Poor old Olly even managed to come close to decapitating Foster…his goal bound shot “saved” after a fashion.

    All in all, a welcome return to style and speed and a short time for Joel Campbell to remind us that still around, unlike Theo who seemed content to merge into the background.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Thanks Andy Nic. Looking forward to the highlights later as haven’t seen anything at all yet. Thank heavens for the right result: I was so anxious that the Alabamians should see a proper home win to send them home with happy memories carefully stored. That they will also remember football clubs attract all sorts of support perhaps part of the warp and woof of a game that has always transcended social barriers. And all the better for that, I think – as long as it remains possible to filter out the kind of voices that seek to offend and destroy rather than debate and enlighten.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. From most people who went to last night’s game the view was the atmosphere was better than usual with the malcontents in self imposed exile – long may it last.

    One man who probably deserved a sentence was Joel Campbell – a short but very lively cameo – the sort of explosive effort that I would like to see unleashed early at the SoL

    Liked by 3 people

  4. A5 – As expected your usual high standards. I had a busy afternoon at work while we played and I resisted the temptation to sneak a peek at Twitter or any other media in my desire to let the drama unfold on my DVR without being biased by reports during and after the game. Obviously not knowing what to expect, I approached viewing with mixed emotions; a combination of anxiety and hopeful optimism. Thank heavens Alexis put most of my anxiety to bed after 8 minutes and obliterated the remaining fears with that free kick to get that most important second goal. The fact we we didn’t score 4 or 5 is one of the 7 wonders of the football world. Giroud almost decapitating their keeper and not scoring will certainly cause him enormous frustration.

    The lasting image I have of the game is all those empty seats that the tv cameras and commentators were eager to emphasize. It is the clearest evidence that despite their accusations that players show no passion and the usual cliches, many of our fans have no bottle for the fight. They claim to love Arsenal but only when we are winning, not when we are struggling to break down massed defences , overcome injuries and biased referees. As Passenal said last night, in her post-game comments to Steww’s blog, those who showed up were a more positive supporters. As many others have said one hopes more of them stay away and allow genuine supporters to take their place in the Emirates.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Last night’s effort from the team was on a par with the Swansea and Palace home games – but this time they got what their overall play deserved.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. a man utd mate of mine told me he listened to bbc radio 5 phone after last nights game and he could not believe the shit spouted by so called Arsenal fans,

    Arsenal were awful
    should have lost the game
    west brom denied a clear penalty
    ozil should have been sent off, the dirty b could have broken the lads shoulder
    hope spurs win the title so wenger leaves
    will force wenger out, sooner or later – I suspect later, as in, when he retires

    at one time I would have assumed that the people making those sort of comments on a phone in, where in fact fans of other clubs pretending to be Gooners, but sadly I have come to realize that our fan base has as many loons as any other, maybe even more. And its all about making noise.
    anyone see the photo of some of the banner wankers after the game last night, it was a warm dry evening, yet there were hoodies over baseball caps, there were scarves covering half their face, and others hid behind the placards they were holding up, I know they often say they are ashamed of Arsenal, but it does seem they are ashamed of the message they are portraying too

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sam ‏@samuelJayC 15h15 hours ago
    Tony Pulis’ record as a manager away to Arsenal: P9 L9 👀

    Liked by 1 person

  8. As we often mention on here Eddy far too many Arsenal ‘fans’ appear determined to be miserable whatever the result of the game or the quality of the football we play – a relentless commitment to misery.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. AFCPressWatch™ ‏@AFCPressWatch 11m11 minutes ago
    Ipswich Town boss has confirmed that Ainsley Maitland-Niles’s return to the club for a further loan spell next season is highly unlikely.


  10. afcstuff ‏@afcstuff 38m38 minutes ago
    Alexis has scored against 18 of the 22 PL clubs he has faced (excl. Chelsea, Newcastle, Norwich, Bournemouth). #afc


  11. Sutton ‏@sutton_01 3h3 hours ago
    These fans that constantly tell Arsene how to run the team and the board how to run the club but can’t organise a successful protest.


  12. paul merson showing himself to be a bigger clown by the day. I really think some of his friends should try and get him checked out to see if he is still on the drugs.



  13. they are essentially fair weather fans.. fans only when winning! Certainly not `loyal or supportive

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Mike Dean would have given that penalty against Alexis alright.


  15. And sent off Ozil DC – don’t forget that


  16. Looking forward to a weekend of being miserable, and angry. The opportunities are endless.
    If Arsenal win, third or fourth may beckon, that should be enough to make any proper fans blood boil. Lose or draw to Sunderland, the team and manager are inept, spineless, a recipe for unbridled fury.
    One can be angry at Theo, even if he doesnt play.
    If Spurs win, we can be angry as well.
    We can be angry at any decision Mike Dean makes in our favour,and ignore anything he does against the team.
    Vicarious fury, banners, all great stuff, never a dull day for a WOB. And when we do win the league, no need to worry or be happy, there is always the option to reduce it to a non trophy.


  17. That’s the spirit Mandy – bottom lip OUT


  18. Great to see confidence restored and the real fans happy again from the various comments.

    Will memo IVAN to progress the ticket price hike and cancel buying that Algerian fella no need now all is well.

    Can you get that Sanogo and Silva bloke on the phone as we want you to know your promoted.Go forth and succeed!

    Best STAN



  19. Lovely to hear from you Stan, I hope Texas is sunny ?

    Don’t bother trying to contact IVAN though, he does not work at the weekend.
    (Between us obv.)


  20. I noticed quite early on about the atmosphere, it makes you wonder if a rocking stadium would be worth an extra ten points a season and the fans actually deserve any silverware they were treated to.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. AFCPressWatch™@AFCPressWatch
    Arsenal left-back Ilias Chatzitheodoridis is on trial at Norwich City, He played vs #mufc U-18 today, according to @jeorgebird’s report.



    Arsène Wenger has revealed the latest team news ahead of Sunday’s Premier League game against Sunderland:

    on when Cazorla or Oxlade-Chamberlain could play…
    They are not ready yet and I haven’t decided yet, but there are not many games left. We still have games in the under-21s, I can put them in the play-off games [if they are available].

    on if Wilshere could feature on Sunday…
    I cannot plan that. At the moment I do not know if I will take him on Sunday or not. Should I take him, you cannot plan that he will play a part in the game.

    on what will decide Jack’s involvement…
    He made a big improvement in the third [under-21s] game. In the first two he was alright, but in the third he found his burst back, the little change of pace. If I don’t take him this weekend, I will take him [in the squad] the weekend after, certainly.

    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/20160422/team-news-santi-the-ox-and-wilshere?#pK61jFYkupl13vAW.99


  23. there are rumors in France that Wenger has agreed a new 3 year deal, if this is true I hope its announced before season ticket renewal time, so that it encourages more of his haters to fuck off and let someone who wants to support the team without all the negative bullshit become a season ticket holder.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Keenos ‏@KeenosAFC Apr 22
    Arsenal’s average attendance in 1989 was 65% of capacity We won the league that year. what were people ‘boycotting’?

    Keenos ‏@KeenosAFC Apr 22
    Putting that into todays money, the Emirates would have to have an average attendance of 39,000 this year to be on par. Lowest attendance in 89 was just 34% capacity. That is 20,400 in todays money. just some food for thought

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Well, the intrepid travelers are off home to Alabama. I just wanted to say again what a lovely time we’ve had. Arsenal gave us a draw (not a disaster, ok?) and a win, and Aaron played for me. Those of you we were fortunate enough to meet were just delightful. Those of you we missed…hopefully we’ll catch you next time!

    Tomorrow’s game it will be back to watching over coffee instead of beer. But I’ll be watching. COYG!

    Liked by 9 people

  26. FT: Sunderland U18’s 1-4 Arsenal U18’s


  27. Have a safe trip home Kelly and Mike, it was great to meet you both and I’m glad that Arsenal gave you a good time while you were here.

    Liked by 6 people

  28. Great meeting Kelly and Mike, a real highlight of the season! And if the rumours of Arsene signing another three year contract are true you’ll need to return to help us all celebrate.

    Safe trip home you guys.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Alabama – Obama, has Kelly something against the President?

    The Mirror run a piece about a new contract, at the time of the AGM in October 2015.

    The Independent, ran a couple of articles in January 2016.

    Then the “Britain’s got no talent” Piers Morgan, did his usual waffle, in March.

    I trust George avoids that wittering twitter?

    My take is that, Mr Arsenal will continue in some role, at Highbury House or Hale End Academy. Teaching the U-9’s?

    Remember 2014!

    Stew, remember Sam Allardyce and all clubs start with 1 point. If you score first, 80 per cent of the time you don’t lose in the Premier League.. The Allardyce pep-talk to the Sunderland players, tomorrow.



  30. I watched the Man Utd v Everton fa cup semi final with a passing interest, and what really struck me was how over hyped and over blown the rating of Stones, Barkley and Lukaku is, all said to be £50M plus players, that would revolutionize a team like Arsenal, Stones might be able to pass a ball but he can’t defend, Barkley has a long range shot on him but when thats not happening he is a passenger, and as for Lukaku, big and powerful he certainly is, first touch he certainly hasn’t got.


  31. Callum Chambers is miles better than Stones. I hope he gets more of a chance next season.

    Liked by 3 people

  32. An Invincible record at the Emirates for Kelly and Mike?
    Nothing less should be expected.

    in hoc signo vinces
    Up the PA massive!!

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Eddie Nketiah today brought his goal tally for the season to 21 goals for the Arsenal U18’s in 19+8 league games,


  34. Wilshere, Rosicky, Cazorla and Oxlade-Chamberlain all trained with the first team squad today, as did a few of the young lads – C Willock, Bielik and Reine-Adelaide.


  35. atletico madrid were playing malaga today, when malaga were on a quick counter attack, someone on the atletico madrid bench threw another ball onto the pitch, right across the path of the malaga player racing down the wing. disgusting cheating from them, diego simeone was sent off for the ball throwing incident, he refused to answer the refs question as to who had thrown the ball. simeone faces a 3 game ban for this incident. what a scummy cheating cunt he is.

    Liked by 2 people

  36. afcstuff ‏@afcstuff 7h7 hours ago
    For the first time since 2013, every first-team player at Arsenal took part in a training session this morning. #afc

    Liked by 1 person

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