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Arsenal Versus Basel: More Of The Same Please

please sir.jpg

I tend to avoid giving the idiots among us too much oxygen, the great leveller that is social media already ensures their vapid discharge receives more than enough attention. One theme which has somehow made it into the office past my secretary is the idea that as Arsène paid a lot of money for his new signings he should bloody well play them. With all the self righteous anger of the entitled, these infantile hysterics who have spent years demanding new signings finally get them, and guess what? The so called expert in charge refuses to pick them.

Of course they neatly cherry pick their arguments to fit the pre conceived narrative and so fail to mention Shkodran Mustafi who has gone straight into the team and has pretty rapidly shown us why. They just cannot understand why Lucas Pérez and Granit Xhaka don’t start every game and why we sent Joel on loan and kept Theo.

Now before I go on let me just say, in parenthesis, we here at PA claim no expertise. Nada, nix, zilch. We, unlike the drooling hordes of mindless trend followers who so pollute the atmosphere of any modern debate, are happy, nay delighted to accept that Arsène Wenger and all of his staff know infinitely more about running every aspect of a football club than we do or ever will. The only things we express here are skewed, narrow, prejudicial opinions based on no more than our gut instincts. I have an idea, an uninformed guess as to why the manager hasn’t automatically thrown the new boys into the pot all at once and it is no more than that.

Given the injury situation I believe he had to play Mustafi straight away. It would have destabilised the team to have too many new faces all at once and would hardly have been effective man management to ditch established quality first team players just because he had some shiny new ones in his back pocket.But there is a much bigger point. Arsène didn’t buy these players because Arsenal was desperate. We didn’t finish way off the pace in seventh, eighth or ninth position in the league last year. We came second. We had an excellent group of players albeit a squad with a few gaps in it due to the retirement of our skipper and a couple of old hands moving on to a quiet semi retirement.

Unlike other clubs we didn’t need to buy saviours because we weren’t in dire straits. We bought players to augment an already successful, top class outfit. Man United in contradistinction flung an obscene amount of cash at one player because they needed a talisman, someone to ignite belief that they might just still be in with a shout of rejoining the big boys club. It’s a club they and Liverpool left some time ago and pretenders like Spurs are making serious efforts to join. Arsenal, needless to say, has been a member for ever single year of Arsène’s time in charge.

So no, the manager doesn’t need to throw all his new trains straight onto the Hornby OO gauge track. Neither does he need to take any chances with those coming back from injuries. He can smooth the transition to the Premier League for the new faces and he can ease the wounded back into the fray. He is, in short, building from a position of strength.

Similarly the cup team we fielded against Forest was noticeably stronger than in recent seasons. In fact our cup side and our league side may start to appear quite distinct from one another, with Ospina or Martinez starting in goal and perhaps Lucas up front, Elneny being first first choice in midfield. Then again we have the option to field differing strength cup teams depending upon the perceived strength of our opponents – the permutations are quite fascinating – not to say mouth watering.

Our opposition this evening, while, in theory, not as formidable as Paris St Germain, cannot be taken for granted whatever the make up of our first eleven. Let’s face it, no one in the Champion’s League intends to roll over no matter who they play and Basel have form when it comes to shattering the illusions of cocky Premier League clubs. Unbeaten this season and with a 100% record in the league they have featured in one or other of the European competitions every year since 1999. So they are experienced, in fine form and have no reason to fear any British team.

I mention all this to dispel any of the ridiculous foregone conclusion, gung-ho nonsense some of our fellow fans mistake for positivity and confidence. Saying we ought to murder them just so that you can then berate your own side if you fail to bury the opposition under an avalanche of goals isn’t positivity it is a symptom of an unbalanced mind.

I am positive about tonight. I believe we are in great form both individually and collectively. I believe also that we have players on the bench and occasionally not even in track suits who are extremely capable and desperate to prove their worth if given the opportunity. Whether any of them will get that chance tonight remains to be seen but nothing would surprise me. We have the classic potential banana skin on Sunday with a trip oop north on the weekend following a Champion’s League tie. Under these circumstances we need players to be fresh and sharp. Having said that the season is yet young, the players supremely fit, and they don’t have to travel half way around the globe this evening so an unchanged side, Coquelin and Ospina excepted cannot be discounted.

As I sip from the lucky mug and contemplate another night of European football it is a relief to know that in you I have someone to share the moment, someone who doesn’t believe they know more than the manager but above all someone who recognises what a phenomenal achievement it has been simply to be here yet again. A top four finish isn’t some kind of booby prize it’s the holy grail of every club in the Premier League and we are lucky enough to a follow a team managed by a man who has delivered  on this goal year after year after year.

If you’re at the match I trust you’ll be in good voice, if not I’ll see you here at 7.45. Ćao za sada.

About steww

Arsenal, books, photography, bass guitar, dog walking, mountain biking, being on the radio, writing, talking too much, failing, making mistakes, buggering on regardless.

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137 comments on “Arsenal Versus Basel: More Of The Same Please

  1. Poor old M Keown “Arsene will want to get some players off and rest them”
    Arsene makes substitutions at a scientifically decided, preordained time and not a moment before.

    Like

  2. Theo missed that on purpose. Knew Sanchez was late with the pass (again)

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  3. Not greedy enough Alexis. Brilliant pressure though.

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  4. Two fabulous passes from Granit.

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  5. Oooooh Iwobi. So close.

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  6. Ludogorets Razgrad 1 – 2 Paris Saint Germain

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  7. I’ve been wondering if Mesut is playing a little below last season’s standard but really I suspect everyone around him has come up a notch.

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  8. ospina with a first save to make 60 minutes in

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  9. Poor old Nacho always looks a bit grumpy.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hahaha. He’s a jolly good fellow, is Nacho

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  11. how have we not scored more

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  12. Contrast between Mesut and Alexis. Like watching David Niven playing with Dill the dog.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Could and perhaps should have scored more. But it would be churlish to complain.

    Liked by 4 people

  14. iwobi and walcott off, elneny and ox on

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  15. Hope no one suggests we sat back at 2 – 0. Look at all the near misses, great saves and bad finishes. Could have had a lot more.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. that could have been 10-0 and we’d still have let them off lightly

    Like

  17. David Seaman ‏@thedavidseaman 1h1 hour ago
    Arsenal are having a blinder! This is quality football! #COYG

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I wanted nine because we could have had nine….

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Positively Arsenal ‏@Blackburngeorge 4m4 minutes ago Blackburn, England
    Even thought it was FFS Sanchez countless times tonight, overall, he was terrific.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Sensational football from the Arsenal.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. ‘Our Xhaka is better then your Xhaka’

    Is the line from a song that unfortunately only one person was singing.

    Like

  22. Boo2me, Welcome.
    I haven’t seen you for ages and I’m so glad to see you here.

    Mills, I didn’t know you were Ken. Wow. So much now explained. Thanks, both.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. The Telegraph ‏@Telegraph 1h1 hour ago
    Latest #football4sale allegations concern Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink at QPR, Tommy Wright of Barnsley and Leeds’ Massimo Cellino

    Like

  24. Oddschanger ‏@Oddschanger 59m59 minutes ago
    BREAKING: Barnsley have suspended assistant manager Tommy Wright after he was filmed receiving a £5,000 bung.

    Like

  25. Woeful finishing, overplaying, poor decision making in the final third but oh how glorious we played. One touch football so quick, so fine , you just had to laugh at its execution.
    So good tonight they could have played Sweet Georgia Brown over the tannoy system and brought on fake buckets of water to throw at the Basel defence. Sheer brilliance and for those who don’t like tippy happy football well it’s back at its best so go and watch the blood and guts at West brom and leave us connoisseurs of football more tickets

    Liked by 6 people

  26. Paddy ‏@VieiraPaddy 1h1 hour ago
    Newcastle scored in the 95th and 96th minute to beat Norwich 4-3, hahahahaha fuck Norwich

    Liked by 1 person

  27. I have to admit that whilst I knew the match was on tonight, my busyness allowed me to forget there’d be a preview. It wasn’t till awhile before the game started that the penny dropped. All the same, I still couldn’t read the preview as I had to rush to watch some poor sod’s TV.

    At half time (having remembered G 60 or geo P’s post about orgasms), I was finally free to check out today’s offering.

    Boom! I thought. Prem ejac may’ve visited if I’d read this superb post earlier.
    How do you do it, Steww? Doesn’t matter. It’s a privilege to read. Thank you so much.

    I can’t really add anything new – such is the quality of responses.

    Haha, for a moment you were relieved, innit. Well, I lied:

    Thing is, plundits going on about Theo (inc. Keown, who I’ve not noticed on b.Sprout.t before), and even the Guardian article ‘praising’ his new ‘attitude/commitment’, and essentially talking about Theo,as though his form has only arrived now that he’s a veteran doesn’t entirely wash with me.

    Because, Theo was doing very well for a leg time. He was one of the keys to v P’s success at Striker. Walcott started 13/14 very well, then in Jan a couple of spuds ****ed him up (which happened from the time he joined the club. Does anyone remember Robinson of Blackburn absolutely smashing him during the early days at the Ems, along with most teams? They knew he had dodgy shoulders so they went out of their way to employ rugby tackles on him, ignored by our men in da middle).

    Like players the world over, when they come back from mid to long term injury, it takes time to gain touch, confidence and their former form, and then to,improve upon it.
    Remember Abu in that match at Liverpool? Remember Aaron on his long road to recovery, on more than one occasion. Remember, the Ox is still on his comeback from the opening game 13/14? against Aston Taylor, and previously he’d run the show against Milan at the Ems, when we were 4 nil down from the 1st leg, and it took a great effort from the ref to stop us from tying up that match!

    Pardon me, (esp. Shotta), I know I could leave these things in the past, but this whole thing about Ars’s players being properly looked after really increases my love for this team and Arsene Wenger.
    I drool over seeing the young talent coming thru all the ups and downs. iWob 17 – where did he me from? I keep a loose eye on da youts dem and I failed to see Alex’s progress, which not only shows how much I know, but also confirms a fraction of ‘wot Steww wrote’ in the article above. (Actually, I’ve just spotted a flaw in my naming of Alex, – “iWob” has wob in it, so I’ll have to find summat else. )

    Right, I’ve gone on too long. Perhaps I’ll empty myself onto A5’s review tmrw.
    Suffice it to say: What a stunning match we witnessed tonight, from The Arsenal.

    PS: I found and listened to the first episode of Talking through the arse. It was ****ing totally Brilliant. I don’t think I knew who Adrian Clarke was when I first heard it, as Stew (negative nelly, still gets work, inexplicably) Robson was the voice of WOB.
    PG, everything you mused was wonderful. Episode2 seems lost. All right, I’m going. x

    Liked by 4 people

  28. So the chelski game wasn’t a fluke then? The first 45 minutes tonight was simply breathtaking – the finest example of Wengerball I have seen since Saturday! The speed of passing and movement was just too much for poor old Basel. How on Earth do we pick a player of the month when everyone of them has been outstanding? It’s wonderful to see them all playing with such confidence and camaraderie. Is Arsene’s plan finally coming together?

    Liked by 6 people

  29. I said on Saturday after the Chelsea game, that this team seems different, not only is the swagger back in our attacking play, but we are solid too, our passing through the lines is at a new level, and nothing I seen tonight has changed my view. Mustafi is looking like a great addition, we now have two CBs who have speed, read the game well, and can play a bit, we now are able to play the high line Wenger has seemed keen on right back to when we signed Vermaelen.
    We now seem to have not only a deep squad number wise, but quality wise too. Not in the squad tonight – Debuchy, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Ramsey, Coquelin, Welbeck, Giroud – and even with a couple of players not being at their sharpest, we totally dominated the game, 10-0 would not have flattered us.
    Burnley is up next, a very important game, this weekend the two teams above us play other, so a win by us, means we gain on at least one of them, if not both. Celtic made man city look ordinary tonight, maybe, just maybe the media have over estimated how good they are, could it be that what they are already saying about Arsenal’s form being only a flash in the pan, or a good month, could actually apply to man city more than to us. of course only time will tell. but I will say it again – This Arsenal seems different to me.

    Like

  30. Ryan ‏@RyanTomes
    Had any other British team got that result it would have been all about the positives, but no with us, we should have done better. I wish Wrighty for once would just fight our fucking corner and swipe away any negative vibes being put on a win for us, but nah he doesn’t. He loves to spout his love for Arsenal as long as it isn’t on live TV

    Like

  31. As brilliant a display of the fine art of wining a 2-0 win as you’
    lol ever see.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Tim Stillman@Stillberto
    @Blackburngeorge @MelOreilly1970 ‘it’s only September, calm down!’ says man that chanted ‘we want Wenger out’ in August 😂😂😂

    Like

  33. New post up

    Like

  34. Late to the party. As always, great read. And great win. Your positivity was justified.

    Were did this ‘Ćao za sada.’ came from? Nice one.

    Like

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