90 Comments

Arsenal: Little Bit Steel, Little Bit Lace

2fd2e1a9e9a7777f48472d40cd99dfcc

Good Morning Positivistas.

A hard-earned but deserved point earned in Paris last night against a home side who performed better than I anticipated and on the back of a performance from us, over the 94 minutes, that I would give no more than 7/10.

I was not remotely surprised to see David Ospina start. He is a top ‘keeper and needs time on the pitch. I was surprised to see Xhaka on the bench but Le Coq and Santi is evidently AW’s current preferred starting combination.

It appeared that new man Emery had told his lads in blue to get into us from referee Kassai’s first whistle. An understandable tactic and one that clearly paid an immediate dividend with a good run and cross from Aurier, and a great angled header from Cavani. We were barely off our stool when we found ourselves flat on our collective backs in 42 seconds. Ouch!

Thereafter for the next 15 minutes PSG worked with feverish energy to deny every Arsenal player any time and space. We could barely get the ball let alone keep possession and our hosts’ aspirations to be among the genuine CL contenders were amply demonstrated. I imagine this is what the home crowd are used to with so little domestic competition. We were holding on, but only just.

However, after that opening 15-20 minute frantic phase, their pace dropped a notch and gradually, very gradually, we began to get control of the ball. We began to string two or three passes together, we approached their box with just a hint of threat. My view was that the remainder of the first half was 50/50. We had more possession and spent more time in their half. They sat back and relied on a breakaway or error, with Cavani failing to hit the target with one fair chance, and missing the ball altogether eight yards out. £55 million eh – what does it get you nowadays?

The second 45 I thought we began with more pace and energy, and tightened up in midfield. Passing that had been wayward became a little more careful. Defensively the threat of Aurier raiding Nacho’s territory was quelled after a testing first 45 for the Spaniard.

To and fro the game went, a couple of heart-in-mouth moments which Ospina dealt with well. He is a goalkeeper, that is what he does although the apparently incredulous commentators, each time he made a save, did not appear to really ‘get’ that. By full time the collective media narrative had been changed to these Parisian goal scoring chances being “missed” by Cavani and/or Di Maria, with David seemingly a passive bystander.

For us as the half progressed, with Olivier on and Sanchez in his more familiar flank role, we created a couple of half chances for us but without really testing the delightfully named Alphonse Areola.

In the end however the home side cracked, as we knew they must. For one of the few times in the evening we had a lot of players in the box, Iwobi was faster to the ball than the home defenders, his blocked shot hammered back past Areola. One half-chance to Alexis, one goal. Excellent finishing. PSG looked shocked, I don’t know why. These things happen if you are only 1-0 up.

The final 15 minutes whizzed by, chances at both ends. Well done to both teams who went for the result rather than settle for what was, for both, an acceptable point.

Standout for Arsenal on the night was Iwobi, Ospina, Le Coq and Santi. Given he was on an early card Francis definitely deserved a pat on the back. When he did get on for the final 20 minutes I also thought Granit did well. He brought just the correct length and width of steel and at just the right time.

The mainstream media last night was focussed on PSG’s Cavani and Aurier last night, the former as a figure of ridicule in the end, the latter for a good attacking full back effort. I was also much struck by Matuidi who worked well as a wide attacking midfielder. He is big, fast and tough and Hector does not have to face any like that in England.

The red cards? I did not see it. I may look later.

Enjoy your Tuesday. A spare day before the game at Hull on Saturday. I am off to Leeds in a few minutes so I shall be living the dream.

010227

About anicoll5

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

Comment navigation

Newer Comments →

90 comments on “Arsenal: Little Bit Steel, Little Bit Lace

  1. Squawka News @SquawkaNews
    How many people does it take to stop a Marcus Rashford?

    Akh‏@RilwanLucas Akh Retweeted Squawka News
    1 n utd hired him as manager

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Looking grim for Mourinho #JoseOut

    Liked by 3 people

  3. FT: AZ Alkmaar 1-1 Dundalk

    Like

  4. Not Match of the Day ‏@NOT_MOTD 2h2 hours ago

    77th Minute: Maccabi Tel-Aviv 3-0 Zenit

    Full Time: Maccabi Tel-Aviv 3-4 Zenit

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Barney Ronay ‏@barneyronay 38m38 minutes ago
    Mourinho has lost 13 of his last 31 games as a manager. Good job he’s a pretty easy-going chilled sort of bloke or that might start to sting

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Doug Nichols ‏@TheTXI 60m60 minutes ago
    Scholes thinks United need to dip into the transfer market for an elite center mid like it’s the summer of 2016

    Like

  7. jesus mills, how poor was football back then.

    Like

  8. Alastair Brookshaw ‏@albrookshawAFC Sep 13
    General observation – the modern football fan *never* consider that players just didn’t play well. Problems are *always* seen to be tactical

    Like

  9. The spirit of Van Gaal lives on at Utd

    Like

  10. The new spirit at Old Trafford is far fouler than that p, Mandy.

    Like

  11. An entertaining story for in this morning’s mainstream media concerning Spuds being signed up to play all their European games at Wembley this season, even if they drop into the Europa League.

    Marvellous

    Like

  12. the Sulphurous One?

    Like

  13. The specialist will always be special to me.
    And for a number of super agents too. Not forgettng associated hangers on.

    Mayhaps the previous severance package was not what he was hoping for?

    Liked by 1 person

  14. ‘Mayhaps’?

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Yikes!
    I’d better ‘duck and cover’.

    Like

  16. The nice thing about Jose is he is a man who has made enemies wherever he has gone, among fellow managers and coaches, football officials, owners, players and fans.

    – there is a huge, cheery crowd waiting in the yard for his tumbril to roll past.

    Liked by 5 people

  17. had a phone call from a man utd supporting mate of mine this morning, and he did not take kindly to the “how many people does it take to stop markus rashford” joke, it was like talking to liverpool pundit. Every excuse under the sun

    goal was offside
    officials have it in for utd
    its was only the europa league
    every team is negative
    arsenal are negative
    arsenal finished 2nd by accident
    arsenal won’t spend money
    utd will win all the trophies after christmas
    spurs are the biggest club in london now and the 80k at wembley proves it

    he hung up when I told him he sounded like a liverpool fan(well it was either that or my constant laughing at his well thought out and well argued points, listed above). Now this was from one of those utd fans who was totally against joe say becoming their manager, but now he is there, it seems the man can do no wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. well anicoll it does seem that one or two english journos have finally crawled out of joe says arse, and are willing to write negative pieces about him. Now I think that has more to do with Pep, Conte and Klopp being in the league and the journos think that is enough to give them a good chance of being on a winner by going against the special one.

    Like

  19. Arsene’s press call today has for some reason been moved from its usual 9am time to 12.30pm

    Like

  20. Instead of giving the team credit for bossing the second half in Paris, our WOBs are tying themselves up in knots trying to explain how PSG, with only a 1-0 lead, chose to sit back and hit us on the counter. Apparently, them being pinned back and tiring themselves out by running after the ball was some type of brilliant tactic by Unay Emery. Go figure.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Finsbury: “The specialist will always be special to me.
    And for a number of super agents too. Not forgettng associated hangers on.”

    I was on to him the minute he paid that exorbitant price for a shit Paulo Ferriera.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Funny how no one is mentioning the fact that Man U players almost went to blows at half time last Saturday. They’re playing exactly how a team full of mercenaries, who are managed by the biggest mercenary, are supposed to play.

    Liked by 3 people

  23. wenger press conference

    Walcott might be fit for Hull game, but Ramsey not ready yet

    Xhaka still adapting, and as Cazorla and Coquelin work well together they have got in ahead of him for now, but both Xhaka and Elneny will get in the team. Competition in midfield is massive

    “Xhaka is adapting to the pace of the English game… but he will play games. I think he will have a huge impact”

    Cech will start, both keepers world class, both have to get games.

    Giroud has had a knock, his big toe, still to check if he is available, Giroud not been fully fit yet,

    Like

  24. Gains did you not know that the Southampton and PSG games confirmed that Wenger is finished, that he has lost the dressing room, players clearly only here for easy time and massive wages, just like the manager.

    Like

  25. 20 years ago today Arsenal confirmed Arsene Wenger as our new manager, officially taking over on October 1st 1996

    Liked by 1 person

  26. the Arsenal press conference was delayed from 9.30 till just before 1, cos Arsene and many of the journos were stuck in traffic, and when AW did arrive he went to the training session first.

    Like

  27. Wenger said he was waiting to see how Walcott and Giroud react to the training session to see if they are ok for tomorrow, Ramsey is being eased back cos we do not want a set back with his hamstrings. Gabriel in full training but unlikely to play tomorrow, but will on Tuesday

    Like

  28. Gains

    Unfortunately I think a certain Superagent was onto him and formed their subsequently ‘successful’ business relationship whilst he was still at Porto.

    He’s a specialist mule driver.
    The chap that sits atop the donkeys.

    Sure he doesn’t get credit for every hilarious deal out there, Falcao, Balotelli, each one more comical then the last, but he has a good track (the donkey track) record!

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Jonathan Johnson ‏@Jon_LeGossip 2h2 hours ago
    Jonathan Johnson Retweeted Le Parisien – PSG
    Marco Verratti’s 2nd booking vs. Arsenal reportedly reassigned to Marquinhos (actual aggressor). No UCL ban. #PSG

    Like

  30. KELECHI NWAKALI JOINS MAASTRICHT ON LOAN

    Kelechi Nwakali has joined Dutch side MVV Maastricht on loan for the rest of the season.

    The 18 year-old signed for the Gunners this summer, from the Diamond Football Academy in Nigeria.

    He captained the Super Eagles to victory in the Fifa Under-17 World Cup in Chile last year, also winning the Player of the Tournament award.

    With his Dutch work permit now granted, the young midfielder heads to Maastricht to gain first team experience. He will join up with new Gunners teammate Stefan O’Connor, who is also on loan with the Eerste Divisie side.

    We wish Kelechi well for the season ahead.

    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/20160831/kelechi-nwakali-joins-maastricht-on-loan#UXcIXYWbBwAG8W7m.99

    Like

  31. Mark Mann-Bryans ‏@MarkyMBryans 20m20 minutes ago
    Hat-trick for Cavani…Caen could do with David Ospina.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. The only slight, ever so slight, irritation is that I think Antonio Conte is a fine manager and a decent chap.

    It’s grim at the Bridge – even Diego is behaving himself.

    Like

  33. cfc saving it all for next week v arsenal

    Like

  34. Much more even in the 2nd half

    A Jordan Henderson* wonder strike from 30 yards settled the game.

    * I know

    Like

  35. some reports that Giroud has not traveled with the squad to Hull, due to a toe injury,

    Like

  36. All of a sudden, our loss to Liverpool and draw to the defending Champions doesn’t look that bad. The only casualty was the WOB’s excuse to slate Wenger for dropping those points.

    Like

Comment navigation

Newer Comments →

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: