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Arsenal: Playing the Fox

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доброе утро Positivistas,

 

For those of you keenly anticipating the wit and wisdom of young Stew this morning after the Summer break you may be dismayed to discover a change of plan. As someone who was also looking forward to the morning musings of our resident quill-meister I am among you.

Normal service will be resumed in the near future. As Arsene says it is essential that top performers enjoy a proper break to recover mentally and physically from a the heavy 55 game 2015/2016 season, and prepare properly for the long contest ahead.

On to the football match and if I were choosing a game to preview then probably Leicester at the King Power would be around or at the top of the list.

The two top sides in the PL last season, both sides backed by excellent keepers, crammed with attractive ball players, and you just know both sides will score goals today. There is always noise at Leicester’s stadium. The home crowd is always frantic and a small pitch ensures that all the action is condensed. Despite watching the game on the TV I find in smaller, noisier grounds I am much more off my seat and in and out of the domestic technical area.

The Fates have even graced us with Mr Clattenburg so we have the best the footballing authorities can supply in terms of a match official. I hope we shall hear no more of Mr C for the whole weekend, though that rather depends on the players. Dissent ? I may have been watching the wrong games last week but my impression was that ( almost all) players were more cautious, a smidgeon more restrained in their contact with the referees and the linos. We shall see if the behavioural modification lasts.

Of our opponents it is still a bit strange, this Leicester City ‘phenomenon’. Until last season LCFC were, not to be too unkind, a bit of a joke, a bit of a ‘guaranteed six points’. Always had been a soft touch, either skilful dandies but with no bite, or rough and with no footballing brain. Either way easy meat for Arsenal season in, season out.

Both our games in 2015/2016 showed the formidable change in the Foxes, 7-3 on aggregate. LCFC over 38 games an example, in a week of transfer hysteria, that football is a team game and a players combined, thinking, moving, organising on the pitch together, who are determined will always achieve more than 11 individuals no matter their price and/or the size of their wage. That we managed to inflict two of only three league defeats on Ranieri’s side was very much to our credit last season, that only one other club managed to best them is very much to theirs.

Both clubs started the campaign with a blip last weekend and there were the inevitable references to an “ashen-faced” Claudio Ranieri and an “ashen-faced” Arsene Wenger this week “under pressure” and this evening’s designated a “must win” game for both.

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Let’s get it clear shall we. Win, draw or lose today any dancing in the streets would be premature. 36 games to go. I know some Arsenal fans by Monday last had given up on the PL. For them the trophy, even any thought we might challenge for the trophy, was gone. I think they are foolish. I trust by about 7.20 tonight they will also feel they were a little foolish.

Of the prospective line-ups I see Huth is back in the centre of the Leicester defence and I assume that will improve on their shakey back 4 display against Hull. Other than Musa I think we know all just about all their players and I expect no surprises. We know what they ‘do’, they know what we ‘do’.

Us ? Arsene was particularly gnomic in the press conference on Thursday. Rob Holding, who I am sure will play alongside Chambers again, will enjoy and learn from the experience over 90 minutes far more than he would from second string action of watching from the bench. I expect Xhaka, Elneny and Le Coq all to get on the pitch today. I fancy the Ox to make his mark today as an attacking force.

 

Enjoy the game and we shall speak later.

About anicoll5

Arsenal supporter, 59, Dad, harmless and humourless, political militant moderate, school governor and worker bee

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99 comments on “Arsenal: Playing the Fox

  1. 60 minutes in and theo has worked back well, cazoral with an awful ball over the top for alexis.

    we need to bring on giroud and elneny

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  2. 69 minutes in and a xhaka mistake lets vardy in but he blasts high and wide from a tight angle.

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  3. we have put in some woeful crosses today, ox and monreal the worst offenders

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  4. 72 minutes xhaka and cazorla off, wilshere and ozil on.

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  5. 77 minutes in and giroud on for ox

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  6. 80 minutes in and morgan with a covering tackle on a walcott shot, it was a good chance that we maybe should have done better from. a few minutes ago jack put in a great cross along the six yard line but we had no forward in to tap it in.

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  7. we’ve got in some great attacking positions today but the final ball or cross has been poor

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  8. ozil has improved us, who would have thought

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  9. alexis has changed his name to alexis loses the ball

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  10. 5 minutes left and both sides have used their 3 subs so probably about 4 or 5 minutes stoppage time to be played too, so 10 minutes or so left to find a winner

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  11. 87 minutes, well if that is not a penalty for lcfc then musa should be booked for a dive

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  12. 3 minutes stoppage time to be played

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  13. we have once again stopped crossing once we brought on giroud, i really never understand why we do this so often.

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  14. 91 minutes in and cech makes a good save from mahrez

    holding booked and lcfc have freekick on edge of the area, offside only seconds left

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  15. FT: 0-0

    afc the better side, but did not test the keeper enough, lcfc a bit unlucky not to get a penalty late on,
    Koscielny and holding had vardy well marshaled
    alexis very poor, ox and theo in and out of the game, our final ball and crossing was woeful, jack and mesut both with some nice bits when the came on, monreal much better than last week, xhaka was not great, coquelin was grand till he got booked, then went a long while without wanting to tackle after the booking, then near the end he once again played his natural game again. Cech looks nervous when ball at his feet.

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  16. fans fighting after the game, not sure if it was lcfc v afc or afc v afc, it looked like lcfc v afc

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  17. Well my prediction of goals goals goals was about as on target as Alexis and Theo today.

    Ozil a welcome return and a class above anyone else on the pitch.

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  18. Clatters eh ( banned winkey thing)

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  19. Not sure I know where to start here Andy?

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  20. Bad evening for Mustafi’s agent – shame

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  21. Leicester not quite as sharp as last season I thought George and until Ozil came on it was not Wengerball – decent point though against the reigning champions – the home side have their mojo back – defensively we were a lot better that last Sunday

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  22. Shame we couldn’t win it, but the clean sheet after shipping 4 last week is very welcome for team confidence. I can see why the players were perhaps a little inhibited after the Liverpool game, but hopefully by the 3rd match with Ozil and Giroud starting we might see a more familiar AFC line up and performance.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Wenger: “I’m a bit fed up to say the same thing, like we do not want to spend. We analyse everything and then make the right signings.”

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  24. wenger says new arsenal signing close

    ‘Yes we are close,’ he told BT Sport, when asked if there were any impending new arrivals. ‘But I would say spending in itself is not a quality. Spending and buying the right players is a quality.

    ‘I am a bit fed up to always respond to the same things. We look and analyse absolutely everything and we have to make the right decisions.

    ‘What matters is that the end of a month we make sure that a club that has 600 employees can pay them all. That is the most important thing.

    ‘Afterwards if you have the money to spend £300 million you can do it. But at the end of the month you have to respect everyone who works for the club.’

    Liked by 1 person

  25. wenger: ‘It’s funny that we come out of football games & have to speak about money instead of football games,’ said Wenger.

    ‘Nobody speaks about the performance of Rob Holding. He’s English, you should be happy. I am sorry he didn’t cost £55m.

    Liked by 3 people

  26. wenger confirmed that asano will go on loan to germany or france, as he did not get a work permit,
    Wenger on why Asano hasn’t got work permit – “because he didn’t cost £50m”.

    from the quotes I’ve posted from wenger after the game, he was in real fighting humor after the game, which for me is really good to see.

    Liked by 3 people

  27. After his performances over the past few months I’d be wary of a cheeky last minute £80 million bid for Kosc

    Liked by 1 person

  28. its unreal that wenger’s comments are being described as sarcastic and seriously bizzare, and arsenal fans are being told that they should be outraged at what wenger said. Anyone who thinks the media do not have an anti arsenal agenda really need a rethink.

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  29. wenger said of holdings performance “He had an outstanding performance for a young boy. He’ll be a quality player.”

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  30. So now that the defence has kept a clean sheet…

    it is now higuain we need?

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  31. Not a word has come to me yet !

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  32. ha ha ha, the wob are trying to claim some of their mob were set upon by akb’s cos they held up an arsene out a4 sheet, when in fact the fighting was between lcfc and afc fans, so unless lcfc fans took offence at our manger getting stick, then the wob are clutching at straws, or should i say, they are lying through their teeth as usual.

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  33. Ed, even at his best Alexis always loses the ball it’s something you have to play off against his brilliance, or course when he doesn’t have a good day it looks worse.
    Theo on the other hand doesn’t give that brilliance although I thought he worked harder defensively today.
    Today we didn’t get the result but the performance was better, Leicester were better this season than last and we were in better shape last year than this. If you put the game in that context it wasn’t a bad result today.

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  34. Wilshere wasn’t on for long but I think he did well. I still think he can be an amazing talent, he is so attack minded

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  35. wenger on lcfc penalty claims “I’m like you, in life it is very difficult to know. You have to watch it in slow motion to see what’s happened,” he said of Koscielny’s tackle on Drinkwater.
    “Maybe Musa should have had a penalty, again it was on the other side of the pitch but Leicester is very good at provoking in the box. They got many penalties last year.
    “So you never know, is it really a penalty or not?”

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  36. Yes it was. No doubt. Are you really, really, saying it wasn’t?

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  37. Gnabry currently playing in the olympic football final, 20 minutes in and its still 0-0

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  38. Chalk one up for the pro-Arsenal officials …

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  39. neymar has just given brazil the lead from a freekick about 25 yards out, in of the underside of the bar

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  40. come on Serge and co

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  41. ‘WE COULD’VE GOT MORE FROM THAT’

    Arsenal were held to a goalless draw at Leicester City in their first away game of the new Premier League season. Here’s what the boss said about the match itself:

    on the draw…
    We could have got more out of that but maybe we could’ve lost it in the last five minutes. Overall it was a game where we had the chances and I think overall it was a game of intensity, of quality. They were very direct, of course, as we know and we needed to have the courage to play without making mistakes at the back and giving them chances on the counter-attack. That’s what the game was about, it was a fight until the end. You could see that Leicester had some mental qualities that explained why they were champions last year.

    on a lack of clear chances…
    If you watch the game again I think we did have clear chances in this game. In the first half in the last 20 minutes we had good opportunities. I believe the chances were there. We still lacked a little bit of speed of decision, a decisive mind and a decisive ball in the final third but it’s an up already from our last game at home.

    on Leicester’s level…
    Similar. Kante is Kante, over a longer period maybe, he had an exceptional influence but they looked to me to have the same determination. They lost only three games last year and that shows that you cannot say that by losing only one player they lose their qualities.

    Read more at http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20160820/-we-could-ve-got-more-from-that-#CMCLO33l2M0OuBdX.99

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  42. Good result against the champions?

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  43. 58 minutes and its brazil 1-1 germany

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  44. image: http://player.arsenal.com/videos/images/dotcom_article/0e96a64eb05ea3baf50b7d41bcb9a738?thumbIndex=3
    Video poster
    WENGER ON OZIL, GIROUD, TRANSFERS

    Read more quotes from Saturday’s post-press conference as Arsène Wenger looks back on the Leicester game, two of his returning players, Rob Holding’s performance and the latest on transfers.

    on Olivier Giroud and Mesut Ozil…
    Giroud does not look completely ready physically but that should improve every week now. Ozil I think as well, one more week will get them closer.

    on Rob Holding…
    I believe he had an outstanding performance for a young boy who has never played in the Premier League and played against top strikers today. So I can only reiterate that I am happy to speak about him because it’s good for English football that a young boy gets a chance in a big club in England and shows that he will be a quality player.

    on transfer criticism…
    It doesn’t cost a lot of money, that. Why do you say I’m reluctant, I don’t understand that? If I buy you tomorrow for £45m that means I’ve bought you for £45m, have I done well? Yes, if I listen to you, I will have done well because I spent the money. That is not a quality, buying a top player, that is different – and we are ready to do that. I spend £300m if I find the player and if I have the £300m. Not to forget as well that we are a club who has 600 employees who we need to have a responsible attitude for as well. It’s a bit surprising that you come out of football games and you don’t speak about football, you have to speak about money. I believe that you have to respect the players who play, the performance that has been done today by those teams and if you find players who can strengthen our team, then we are not reluctant to spend the money.

    on transfers in the next week…
    We are highly influenced by the media so that’s part of the process today. We try to make the right decisions, it’s as simple as that.

    on not finding the right player…
    Look, we are a whole team working on strengthening the team. I am not the only one and unfortunately nobody speaks about the performance of Rob Holding today. You should be happy, he’s English, he’s 20 years old, but I am sorry, he did not cost £55m so he cannot be good and that is for me what is most disappointing for me. You don’t speak about the performances of the players anymore, you just speak about money. Anything else than football. I believe that it’s not right.

    Read more at http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20160820/wenger-on-ozil-giroud-transfers?#Gop9EL8Qv221DUbw.99

    Liked by 2 people

  45. George has found the words – new post up

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  46. Does that even make sense? £300m? !?

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  47. yes dfb it makes sense cos the full quote is that he would spend £300M on the right players if he had £300M available to spend.

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