Good morning and welcome to the penultimate pre match preamble of 2015/16. I can’t believe there is only one more to go after this one. It seems like only yesterday we were all getting our knickers in a twist about beating Jose in the Charity Shield. Now you remind people of that match and it’s all “Jose who?”. Curious how time stretches and compresses all at once. Watching the Graceless One collapsing and falling, already feels like ancient history and yet at the same time thirty six games have flashed past us in the blink of an eye.
We’ve all become somewhat used to having a cup final to look forward to as the first thunder storms of the year herald the opening chorus of another British summer. In stark contradistinction this season we have to make do with a play off for third place at The Etihad stadium. There may be even more at stake should Spurs’ raggedy band of prima donnas continue their petulant implosion. Personally I don’t see them losing both of their last two. They lost the plot at Chelsea because they were in such an unusual position for a club which has spent decades in Arsenal’s shadow and simply couldn’t cope with the rarefied air near the top of the tree.
When they realised they were not going to win the league their moral collapse was as spectacular as it was heart warming to watch. They have, however, had time to get over that and pull themselves together. That they haven’t faced a points deduction is of course a different story but we shan’t concern ourselves with their woes any further. If they lose and we win today, well then the final weekend will have a little more spice to it, otherwise our focus must be on the blue half of Manchester and nowhere else.
Man City are a bit of an enigma at the moment. Like us they are capable of dirge and dazzle in equal measure. They have a manager who, all things considered, they’ve treated pretty shabbily and who has nothing to gain from automatic qualification. They have some outstanding players who have performed in a patchy, inconsistent manner all season and yet they are right up there with us and Spurs, the only teams remotely close to the champions.
So what do I think is going to happen this afternoon? Absolutely no idea. Honestly why George picked me to write the pre-match is a real head scratcher. If I have any Mystic Meg in my lineage then Dad kept it very quiet and it’s a weak gene at best. If you like I could share what I think the manager might do selection wise. I suppose if nothing more you could disagree with me and we could have a heated debate about it. Although given that I’m happy to wait for the teams to be announced the heat in that argument may be somewhat more frigid than advertised.
I don’t see him changing much except perhaps for bringing Coquelin back and pushing Aaron further forward. With Welbeck staking a claim for a start it is possible Larry and Alex Iwobi may make way. But honestly what do I know about it? Given that our success against City has come from a more defensive performance in the past, Larry is an obvious starter as he can cope hanging around on his own up top waiting for the cavalry better than anyone else in the squad. I think the back five pick themselves at the moment but beyond that only Mesut, Elneny and Sanchez seem guaranteed to start. As for City’s line up I have no idea as I never watch them play.
So there you have it. I’m so stuck for anything to say I’ve resorted to the hack blogger’s ploy of second guessing the manager. Now I feel dirty. In fairness this end of season ennui was bound to affect us writers just as much as any other fan. Like the empty red seats at the Emirates there are empty spaces in my frontal and parietal association regions which are usually bubbling over with witty one liners, clever couplets and devious dactyls. I hope the Arsenal players are less devoid of creative inspiration today. Similarly it is my fervent wish that City and Spurs are so overwhelmed with grief at the tragic end of their hopes and dreams domestically and in Europe that they fail to raise themselves for the fight and bow out with a no more than a damp squib.
I wonder if lasagne is on the menu at White Hart Lane?
James Olley @JamesOlley 44m44 minutes ago
#afc fans still in the ground chanting “There’s only one Arsene Wenger.”
can’t be true, WOB claim our away fans have not sung that song for over a year now.
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can any of you confirm if on away games there are Arsenal stewards in attendance for our supporters. As WOB are claiming Arsenal hired stewards for today’s game to stop the banners, which seems unlikely seeing as we’ve not tried to stop them at any of our other away games this season.
ive never seen them, only the helpers from the official away coaches. Although I havn’t been for a while
do the official helpers wear an arsenal stewards bib
Some of of my take-aways from the game posted on twitter:
What an excellent result for the Arsenal. What a brave fight by the boys after losing Danny so early. So the top-4 is not a trophy? Ask Pep.
You know what is funny. Our MoTM was Giroud who some like to mock and the WOBs want to bin. A goal, brilliant hold-up play & lovely assist.
I am giving Pellegrini a virtual applause, a true gentleman in a sea of sharks.
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the ones on the official buses will either wear bibs or lanyards depending on the game. They are there to assist as opposed to keep order as the stewards do at home, its a compleatly different role.
on the AFC stewards being at the city game, there are claims that all BPL away teams bring a handful of stewards with them, to assist the away fans.
of course the WOB are trying to make something against the club out of nothing, and yet they claim its not Arsene fc but Arsenal fc, and that they love the club, but will lie, and distort anything to fit their agenda.
Spanish Gooner @ElSpanishGooner 28m28 minutes ago
Spanish Gooner Retweeted ArsenalCentral
How dare Arsenal having away stewards like the rest 19 teams of the league?
I must say I am confounded by Sanchez. He rarely makes a simple pass to keep a move going but then he runs at the City defence, plays an amazing 1-2 with Giroud and buries it. You can’t teach that kind of bloody-mindedness. It is almost heresy to criticize him but I am concerned with how he fits in with the team. Am I committing heresy?
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Agree on Pellegrini, one of the good guys.
I am sure there will be some top clubs queuing up for such an accomplished manager.
The Dean of Football @HectorBaelIerin 23m23 minutes ago
All these protesters have done is succeed in bringing together the less abusive, more intelligent Gooners 👍
alexis clearly unhappy at Arsenal, and its affecting his play
AFCPressWatch™ @AFCPressWatch 45m45 minutes ago
Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez has scored six goals in his past seven Premier League games. #AFC
afcstuff @afcstuff 50m50 minutes ago
#afc final 2015/16 PL away record:
34 goals scored
25 goals conceded
afcstuff @afcstuff 1h1 hour ago
Arsenal are now unbeaten in 8 consecutive games, their longest run without a loss this season. #afc
ha ha ha, the away fans singing one arsene wenger has really put a few noses out of joint, puts a downer on the claims that our “hard core” away fans don’t support the manager.
It really seem that the silent majority are hitting back at the attention seeking wob web celebrities that like to claim they speak for the Arsenal fan base
I suppose, Shotta, Sanchez, like a few others, does unpredictable things, along with that we know he’ll do, like cutting in to use his right foot. But I like the fact he’s back defending again when needed. I think Alexis fits in with himself (little bit bolux there), but you aren’t heresy ing. I think Santi’s presence in the team allowed Alexis’s play to flourish. Indeed, Santi’s intelligence releases the footballing minds of other players. It’s only natural that it sometimes doesn’t work, and some of those times is when he’s kicked. (Forgive me, I’m a bit tired).
I wonder if our supporters sang “1 AW” whilst Pel was giving his post match speech to the largely empty looking Etihad?
Sky’s post match show seemed to mainly focus on whether ManU or ManC would get the CL spot, and how the latter hadn’t done well enough through the season.
The plundits lauded Arsenal and Wenger, recognising their awesome feat in reaching at least 4th place season after season, noting that Arsenal are indeed brilliant – given the fact they always have “difficulties” during the season (and yet they always succeed), unlike the fated top 3: Chelsea, ManU & ManC.
No, of course they didn’t.
Thierry and Niall lament ManC’s relative failure. Graeme was the voice of ‘slag off all of ’em’, and never fails to understate anything positive about Arsenal. Souness’s gravelly voice of authority, my aaaaarrrrrse.
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it really is laughable to see other WOB trying to put the blame for deejay tit’s bad behavior on AKB’s, I’m expecting them to start saying “he loves his mum, and is not that sort of guy”, isn’t that the usual line and excuse for thuggish behavior from louts on the pitch, so I suppose its time its used for the fans too.
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“it was the Arsenal hired stewards that took away our banner” they claimed
someone must have hacked their accounts again and made these false claims, I hope they at least bought them more fake twitter followers
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Well he faced a few overs and scored 12 runs, fielded nicely and took one wicket. No harm done and he enjoyed it enough to want to play next week. and thats as much as I might have hoped for.
but my football team gave me so much more than I dared hope for. what a great effort against a top team who confounded me by being more up for it than I thought they might be.
And look at (still) young Jack.
Different class to all on the pitch bar possibly two. and if you doubt that see the way the City players tried to take him out the moment he came on..
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WENGER ON THE DRAW, WELBECK AND WILSHERE
Arsène Wenger spoke to the media following Arsenal’s 2-2 draw with Manchester City. This is what he had to say:
on the game…
It was a very intense game where we had a difficult start because Manchester City came out very strong. We suffered a little, but every time we went down we showed character and came back twice in the game. Overall, I think Manchester City had good intensity in the game and there were a few times when we were in trouble, but we delivered a very strong performance.
on finishing in third…
It is in our hands now but we have seen again today that we just want to finish the job with the result. That shows you that we have to focus and keep the focus. It is important to maintain that. We have had strong concentration in recent games and our character has been questioned a few times this season. We gave the right response today on the pitch, but you have to say if you look we have the best results against the top-four teams. That doesn’t come without character.
Danny Welbeck has a knee problem. I hope it is not too bad. We need to wait for a scan, I hope that it is not bad one and a meniscus. Danny is a strong boy, he is not a guy who moves out quickly. We tried to keep him on the pitch and straight away he tried to move on and he said it was impossible. At half time, I looked at him and he was very down so he must have pain. Lets hope we have good news tomorrow from the scan.
on how bad it could be…
When I say good, that means he will not be out of the Euros. The bad news would be if he is out of the Euros, but I don’t know. I’m an optimist. I don’t know if it is a lateral meniscus. Lets wait until we get the real diagnosis.
on Wilshere’s performance…
I felt that he showed he is well prepared physically. Overall, I believe that his performance was encouraging and that he will benefit from this kind of intensity in the game. He didn’t have too much time to think about it, but that is sometimes the best. His performance was positive.
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/20160508/wenger-on-the-draw-giroud-and-welbeck#sidox814qJ2YdVum.99
afcstuff @afcstuff 37m37 minutes ago
Only 4 Arsenal players have ever played more games in a season under Wenger than Giroud this season (53)
Most games in a season under Wenger:
Giroud 53 (current season)
a bit of a disgrace from the city fans today, pellergrini’s last home game in charge, and he is a manager who won them one of their 4 league titles, only their second BPL title, and he has also won 2 league cups for them, again they have won only 4 in total, only a couple of days ago they were in thier first ever CL semi final, and yet this self entitle bunch could not wait for the lap of appreciation, they stadium emptied quicker than if there was a fire drill. It would be nice for these great fans if city made it into the europa league next season.
man city’s lap of appreciation, city have spent loads, changed manager on regular basis, don’t charge massive ticket prices, won a trophy this season, got to their first cl semi, won a league title only 2 years ago, and have changed their manager for (failure) and this is thier fans reaction to the manager and players. The WOB claim that Arsenal fans would not be self entitled if only we changed our manger. Can’t see it myself, its what too many fans are now, the internet has given them a sense of entitlement and the idea that they know a lot more than they actually do.
man city’s lap of appreciation
just watched the highlights of todays game and it was amazing how many time fouls on wilshere were let go, a couple that should have even earned bookings, but not even a freekick.
New post up!!