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Arsenal – the final sublime afternoon

 

Ban A4 wavers

Good Morning Positivistas,

What a finale to the season ! Ninety minutes that will be firmly fixed in my memory as one of the best final days I have witnessed, even weighed against seasons in which trophies have been won and records set. And memorable for all the right reasons.

Of the game itself we dominated the opening phase and the way we tore into Villa a substantial score looked possible, 6-7-8 ? Having taken the inevitable lead however the second goal did not come !! While the visitors looked horribly inept there was a niggling fear that with no second goal we risked another ‘Crystal Palace’ style stumble, the anxiety heightened as word from St James’ Park swept across the ground. The Lilywhite collapse came as a surprise for me and most I think, but thereafter each new Tottingham calamity met with hilarity and a knowing shrug “it’s Spurs”. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. The scale of their breakdown  was stunning and on this occasion there were no third party/lasagne themed excuses to hide behind.

It took us to the 78th minute for Olivier to hammer the 2nd goal on the back of Mesut’s 19th assist. That was a long time and evidence that despite the poverty of the opposition we found it difficult to quite get our game ‘right’. Santi was brilliant yesterday, and, though his work was much more in the background, so was Le Coq who worked hard all afternoon in the engine room. Though in possession of the ball 75% of the time and in control of the game just about 100% we did not really threaten in the Villa box. If I was looking for a reason it seemed to me that with Santi, Ozil, Jack, and Sanchez we had too many players of the same ball-playing at the feet style, all the same size, and trying to do the same job. When we brought on Elneny our shape changed and we became faster in moving the ball, and more direct.

Once the second came the third goal followed immediately for Olivier. Having sat uncomfortably through a few games when nothing has gone right for the Frenchman fortune shone her benevolent gaze on him yesterday, every damn thing went right. All good finishes as well.

Then came forth Mikel to loud applause. Even though our club captain was on the pitch for just five minutes he put his all into that cameo, and was duly rewarded with our final goal. ( Own goal my arse).

Mr Clattenburg duly brought out league season to a very satisfactory end, there followed very warm and sincere tributes to Mikel and Tomas. I do not know how much, if any was shown on the TV, but the Spaniard was really sobbing both on the pitch and later on with his wife and children in the tunnel. I suspect the tears were the realisation that part of his life, the life he has wanted and known from about the age of 8, to be a “footballer”, was over. Our friends at the Telegraph provide this morning’s final picture of the Mikel enjoying the final goal in an Arsenal shirt below.

Finally I am delighted to say that the ‘lap of appreciation’ was performed in front of an 80% full stadium with all of the players, coaches and manager, and their children, walking the perimeter with Gunnersaurus bringing up the rear. All had on Rosicky shirts, other than Theo (Sigh). The glow of good humour from crowd to team and manager you could feel. That is how a football ground ‘should’ be.

Is it only me but was the absence of any reference to/recognition of the Flamster in yesterday’s leaving ceremonies significant ? Might the Frenchman be in for one more campaign ? If not it was a bit of a shame he did not get a good cheer.

On the sunshine bus we all know that football retains the means to confound and delight us, to lift us to a joyous perch, and to drag us toward and then back from the brink of doom. Yesterday the season passed into history in a glow of enjoyment, of goals and of victory.

It is a pleasure and a privilege to write for so knowledgeable and enthusiastic an audience. Enjoy your week, enjoy the close season. We shall return.

Arteta

About anicoll5

Arsenal supporter, 58, Dad, harmless and humourless, political militant moderate, school governor and worker bee

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245 comments on “Arsenal – the final sublime afternoon

  1. It may just be that Szcz has grown up more in the past 6 months in Rome than he did in ten years at Arsenal Els. A bit like Bendy the Pole did retain something of the stroppy teenager about him long after he should have matured.

    Smoking in the showers indeed !!

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  2. Yeah probably. He’s certainly not doing himself any favours though. Do you think he’s after making it difficult for him to be brought back into the squad? I think we’ve seen the last of him. I also expect he’ll be one of the best in a couple of seasons.

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  3. As far as I know Szcz has another two years on his AFC contract and from what was said towards the end if the season Roma did not intend to keep him so he is homeward bound. At 26 he is way too old to be on the bench with us behind Cech and Ospina though. Depends if Ospina moves on I suppose (?) It may be the Pole is keen to find another Italian or maybe a German club to give him a further season on loan.

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  4. It seemed that his bleeding arsenal colours quickly changed didn’t it. The noises from his camp aren’t those of someone eager to get back and play second fiddle under Cech.

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  5. “how on Earth is Woodward surviving this?”

    DC, upon a hefty commission?

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  6. Els
    There have been stories for quite some time that Woj has never seen eye to eye with Arsenal’s goal keeping coach – Gerry Payton.

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  7. Gibbs, Joel, Theo all there. happy with that.

    No Jenks??

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  8. the much rumoured new Arsenal player has been apparently named in the BL team of the year alongside Vidal, Sanchez’s former collegue through their final development phase at Udinese

    I thought the other munchen CMs had better games then Vidal during the matches with Arsenal this season, though I missed some of the second leg and I’m not sure but I had the understanding that he wasn’t fully ‘match fit’ at the time

    As for the rumoured player. Looks likes he is a midfielder. Heh. The graphic I saw said his key stats were a combo of his high no. of passes and his high no. of long passes. Vaguely reminiscent of a very recent Arsenal midfielder.

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  9. do wonder a bit about Gerry Peyton…..we have had our persistent issues with keepers past, as pointed out, rumours Szcz not over happy with him….and he did seem to play exceptionally well when Jens was at the club doing his badges. Then, Jens himself suggested not enough work was being done to address keepers specific faults. Then, Fabianski went to Swansea, our number two gk coach followed him, and as far as I know, was not replaced…..David seaman tweeted at the time something to the effect, arsenal had just lost by far their best go coach.
    Then, this year, Cech in an article praised lollechon to the hilt making him the keeper he was, didn’t mention Peyton…..maybe a context thing.
    But………still, a couple of golden gloves in recent years may refute doubts over Peyton….or do they?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Ian Ridley ‏@IanRidley1 9h9 hours ago
    #MUFC have taken over from Chelsea as the English exemplar of the Dolly Parton line that it costs a lot of money to look this cheap.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I see the Scarfists are in disarray;

    London Is Red
    ‏@__LondonIsRed__
    Arsenal are reportedly identifying the fans who held up Wenger Out banners & want to ban them & take away their membership.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Positivistas: For a long time some of us expressed the view that once great English clubs who decided to go head-to-head with oil-based clubs like Chelsea and City were doomed to failure. The facts speak for themselves; Leeds, Blackburn, and dare I say, Liverpool are in singular decline. Despite our competitive hatred for United one had to admit they had earned gargantuan revenues which prior to the Oilers legitimately made them the big dogs in the market. But since the Glazer takeover they sold their souls to corporate raiders, hedge funds and the various parasites eating away at our economies. Slowly but surely long term football success is giving way to short term success. No wonder the Mendes Mafia see Unite as a willing host, complicit in their callous underminingg of LVG, throwing him under the bus to make way for Mourinho’s special brand of short-term check book management. Unlike the 5th column in the Arsenal ranks, who would welcome a similar corrupt regime to preside over our club, I have no fear for this development. It is simply the next stage in the continuing decline of United. Bring it on!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. It is the great cycle of football Shotts – Empires rise, empires fall

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  14. Shotta very well put. My thoughts exactly. It’s a fad that I hope burns itself out soon though none the less. Even if it doesn’t seem to be going on in our club it massively effects the fan base who can’t see it for what it is. The game has geared up to fit with the culture of manager dismissals. Managers no longer spend time, effort or money on the development of youth policies as they know that it soon wont be their responsibility. Why the fuck would you give an Alex Iwobi a chance. Why should he be bedded in on your watch. Much easier to spend the chairmans money on the finished article. After-all it’s probably what he wants anyway. A superstar he can brag about to his buddies that he owns. Our board take some serious shit and at times have proven to be a little dated and perhaps not as driven as they could be. I’m proud as fuck to support a team that doesn’t follow the “I want it all now” culture of the Mendes scum.

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  15. To be fair to Manyoo I guess that in Jurgen had still been available then they would have preferred a man with a bit of enthusiasm for good attacking football rather than the Prince of Darkness. I cannot however get rid of a niggling feeling that Jose and the red Mancs are not quite at the altar yet.

    “If any man can show just cause, why they may not lawfully be joined together, let him now speak, or else hereafter for ever hold his peace. “

    Liked by 3 people

  16. I see it as less of ‘I want it now’ and more of ’empty your pockets and give away all your moolah to the highwayman who resembles a rotten pumpkin wearing a skull and crossbones bandana’ culture of the Mendezian Mules.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Anicol. I see no reason. Carry on!

    I hope they completely destroy the club long term. I’ll be looking forward to seeing them at the Vic down the road when I go to see Hartlepool United v Manchester United in four seasons time.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Fins – yeah, from the Agents of doom perspective yes. It’s the chairman who want it all now.

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  19. Manures desperation has led them to letting the enemy through the front gates, we all know Maureen came knocking before and the little pigs wouldn’t let him in and now he may just devour them.
    Any manure fan who says they honestly wanted Maureen after their real hero Sir Bobby made his feelings known is just a trophy whore and a plastic to the enth degree

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Even Saint Eric is doubtful;

    “I love José Mourinho, but in terms of the type of football he plays I don’t think he is Manchester United,” Cantona says. “I love his personality, I love the passion he has for the game, his humour. He is very intelligent, he demands 100% of his players. And of course he wins things.

    “But I don’t think it’s the type of football that the fans of Manchester United will love, even if they win. He can win with Manchester United. But do they expect that type of football, even if they win? I don’t think so.”

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  21. I like the ITV advert for the Euros, Eric again;

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  22. Looks like the dude whose rep took a beating this season will be doing a Leicester much to Scudamore’s approval next year then.

    You didn’t hear it here first.

    No one ever said that the pgMOBsters are not predictable.

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  23. There is only one football club worth following at the top level. If you are being serious about things.

    And you all know where you can find them!

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  24. *when I write “serious” I am of course referring to the Footy.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Has anyone seen or heard from the boss? He has been missing in action from last week. The last time I saw him on Twitter was after the Liverpool-Sevilla game.

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  26. High quality comments, peeps. Thanks.

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  27. George was scrapping on Twitter last night Shotts – he sounded his usual mild mannered self

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  28. Aye Andrew. I saw the boss on Twitter as well. He was his usual engaging self. All is well with the worl.

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  29. I’ll have you know I’ve been on my best behaviour.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. The club have formally announced the signing of Xhaka a few minutes ago, as if you did not know, and his contract commences on 1st July.

    I am sure he will be a chip off the old block.

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  31. Wow you know his dad?

    Liked by 2 people

  32. Xhaka has a great game for Arsenal, characterized by lots of hard, strong tackles.
    Let’s predict/offer some of the media headlines, here’s my first:

    “Granite Xhaka bosses the park”

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  33. “Granite hits rock bottom”, “Granite sinks like a stone”. Surely they’ll be negative.

    Liked by 2 people

  34. Regarding the captaincy, wont Mertersacker just naturally step up? Isn’t the question who will be vice captain?

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  35. The combination with the rare Welsh bluestone in the middle of the park could be solid.

    I’ll get me coat. Just as soon as I can escape the trap door.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. “Granit crumbles” – “Xhaka slacker” even !?

    Liked by 2 people

  37. Aha, there are some negativistas here…

    Liked by 1 person

  38. AndyNic, according to the University of Aberdeen, granite played a critical role in the evolution of life, 400 millions of years ago.

    “Xhaka” ing, was banned in the first laws of the FA!

    PG, please continue hacking the oppos.

    Liked by 2 people

  39. Is it Xhaka as in Merter or Frere? Either way I hope he’ll be a pronounced success.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. So, safe to conclude that Schneiderlan was not the answer at £25 big ones?

    Did he even start the cup final?

    Liked by 2 people

  41. London Is Red ❄️ ‏@__LondonIsRed__ 6h6 hours ago
    Xhaka “A year ago, I was almost speechless when he called me. Arsene Wenger is a legend for me, full stop.”

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Xhaka: Arsenal wanted me last summer, I had to keep my mouth shut
    By Lee Hurley – May 25, 2016
    Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter

    Granit Xhaka was officially announced as an Arsenal man on Wednesday and the player has already been giving interviews to the media in his home country about the move.

    Currently on international duty with Switzerland ahead of the Euros, Xhaka revealed that he didn’t like having to keep quiet about the transfer.

    Ask if he was happy that his future was now sorted, Xhaka said “And how! These were difficult days for me. I had to keep my mouth shut, although I do not like to do that.

    “It is good that now everything came out. I opted for Arsenal.

    “And I decided for Switzerland. These discussions about the Kosovo issue were a burden for me.

    “Now I am glad that I can travel to the European Championship with clear head and finally have peace.”

    He was also asked about how it felt being the most expensive Swiss player in history. He replied “This is not so important to me.

    “It clearly makes me proud also because you can see the work behind it.

    “I had become enormously ripe at 23, in a leader role in Mönchengladbach.”

    He also spoke about why he chose Arsenal “Arsenal’s interest in me was big and very long (oh er).

    “Last summer, Arsène Wenger called me for the first time.

    “Arsenal is a club that plays great football, football, which is also for the eye.

    “I think I fit perfectly with the club.

    “And I’m also one who can put a physical mark [on the game].

    “This is needed at a club that wants to play in the Champions League again.

    “There were also some contacts with other clubs. But nothing was concrete.

    “Last Friday I signed the contract finally.”

    Finally, he was asked how his life would change by moving to London and he replied “I think by not much.

    “But thank God my wife is with me.

    “Then I have someone to talk when things are not going so well.

    “In my private life, not much will change. But logically, London is a metropolis, it does not compare with Mönchengladbach.”

    Welcome to London, Granit.

    Liked by 1 person

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