Xhaka, Refs And Arsenal

I wanted to put in words my feelings on the whole Xhaka red card malarky. It’s hard, because when I tried on Twitter it came across that I thought he was a bad lad and I agreed with the sending off. Neither of these things are true. So when I saw  comment from our very own Arsenal Andrew, that perfectly summed up my feeling about not just that incident, but the overall state of the team and our position, in typical fashion, I thought “I’ll nick that”. 

Also, Andrew has been conspicuous by his absence (a bit like me really?) on the articles front, so this is my way of forcing the shirker out of his slumber.

“I’d be surprised if we see much more of Moss in the future, his ‘display’ left everything to be desired and had he succeeded, sorry, had Swansea succeeded in scabbing the draw we’d have never heard the last of it, and rightly so.

It’s rarely a single incident that riles fan rage but a culmination of confounding decisions that eventually add up to a deep-rooted dissatisfaction with the overall refereeing performance. And so it was on Saturday with Moss’s reckless ignoring of two Arsenal head injuries ahead of his joyous sprint to over-punish the over-stretched Granit.

Personally I love it when cheats are punished and would happily see all such unfootballing activities dealt with via the red card. But they so rarely are which makes Moss’s over-the-top intervention, in the context of his earlier tolerance of Swansea’s thuggery wholly confounding and ultimately unacceptable. Hence the outrage.

Which was a pity because refereeing shenanigans aside it was a thrilling game, thoroughly enjoyable and a terrific win for Arsenal. Except come season’s end, it won’t be remembered for that, will it?

And what of Arsenal’s wider form? As Shotta reminds us from time to time, we appear to be in the midst of a statistically significant run at the moment, though we have all been here before, right?

Our traditional Autumn Run tends to derail itself with a pile-up of injuries that clear themselves up in time for the end of season express train run-in. The difference this season, if any can be expected?

This will become manifestly clear over the next 8 weeks but to me we must be perilously close to having genuine strength in squad depth across all positions. Surely no team could absorb a loss to the side such as that presented by injuries to Ozil and Sanchez? I’d suggest that, brilliant though both clearly are, neither have hit top, top form which suggests the rest of the side – and the replacements in the wings – must be pretty decent.

I’m quietly confident.”

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76 comments on “Xhaka, Refs And Arsenal

  1. Just can’t believe fans of Manu will put up with much more of this; 6 touches in the penalty area, 9 players back for much of the game against one of their biggest rivals? 2 vital points dropped.

    They have a lot of seats to fill at OT; the impact of Jose’s thrill a minute tactics will be all too obvious to see soon enough.

    And the irony of United going all ‘tactical’ in the most mind-numbingly European of ways, when, once again, they are not even in the Champions League will not be missed by too many.

    Tactical master classes may well prove inconsistent with high seat costs and the kind of stratospheric shirt sales the club are used to over-relying on to part fund their ludicrous forays in to the transfer markets. Their sponsors may yet do worst than fall asleep and one can imagine the bigwigs at Sky and the Premier League having words, behind the scenes.

    Sky’s viewing figures 19% down this term? Is something unravelling before our eyes? Is that the sound of a bubble finally bursting?

    Dangerously interesting times.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. “Vintage Mourinho”
    Writes Aunty Bleeb.

    Some as in some will do as they are told.


  3. <
    You can dress a turd up in bells and whistles, apply some rougue, stick it on a stick with 48 other flavours, but it's still gonna stink of sh*t.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Six weeks is a long, long time in football. Six weeks ago Manyoo, under the brilliant leadership of Jose, had picked up maximum points from their opening three games. had the Community Shield in the trophy cabinet and the Premier League trophy was being decked out in red and white ribbons by the media for its delivery to Trafford Park, around about the 1st of January. The Mourinho revolution was unstoppable.

    Six weeks on, languishing in 7th place, his over-priced signings contributing little, and with a grim example of negative football last night that even Louis van Gaal would have had the good grace to apologise for, the horizon for the Mancs this season appears to be a CL place, or possibly a Europa Cup place. For their now embattled supremo the very best I imagine he can hope for is to still be in his job next August.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Good Morning, Guys.

    And yet – and yet – there are some pundits who say the fault for such a mind numbing display of footballing ineptitude lies at the feet of ‘Pool.

    Who says so? Well these so called experts take their lead from the master disseminator and narcissist himself, aka the Curdled One. He goes by the name José to all those fawning idiots who do not want to fall foul of the eye gouger, and when he says ‘Tactically we were brilliant – of course when I say ‘we’ I mean ‘I’ was brilliant. Liverpool were unable to beat my masterstroke of parking the bus, and only having two shots on target the whole game. I am a genius!”

    If anyone did not understand by now that the reason this man only stays at a club for two or three seasons, is that no one can abide him and his hideous personality for longer than that.

    I could go on – but there is no need – just watch how this farrago of nonsense plays out over the next couple of months, and, if the results are still crap, he will resort to the old ploy of blaming the players and reach for Manure’s check book and buy any top player who is available in January. Because that is his secret – he hides his imperfect managerial style by buying more and more of the top players, and when they eventually click, and cream does rise to the top eventually, he will claim it is his brilliance that won this or that, and not the skill of the most expensive players assembled by spending the wealth of the club.

    A reasoned, balanced observation? Hopefully not – but the man is a boil on the face of football and we all can do without him, thank you very much.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Every club the man has been at he leaves an malicious odour behind him Henry. It is not his footballing knowledge that I have an issue with, and I am probably more generous than you on that in that I see Jose as a highly able, innovative coach ( or at lest he used to be). It is his character that is flawed, and that will wreck any good that he does, and define how he is remembered.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. AA wrote “Sky’s viewing figures 19% down this term? Is something unravelling before our eyes? Is that the sound of a bubble finally bursting?”

    well if I’m not mistaken Man Utd have been on live TV for everyone of their games, what neutral would tune in to see that. there was a time watching utd meant you were certain to see attacking football, but that was 3 managers ago.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Kev breithaupt ‏@kevbreithaupt 11h11 hours ago
    If Mourinho directed Die Hard he would have John McLain hide in a cupboard all night & then congratulate himself on not getting shot

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Richard Keys ‏@richardajkeys 4h4 hours ago
    I slept really well last night – then went home to bed! If Moyes or LVG had served that up they’d be pilloried. Think again Jose.

    The Ice Man ‏@BrutalArsenal 13h13 hours ago
    How the mighty United have fallen. 8-2 is now a formation, not a score.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. 19% drop in viewing figures is a potentially catastrophic decline if it doesn’t swiftly recover. You don’t spend £5B only to see your audience slip away overnight. They (Sky/BT) are complaining that streaming is killing their audience but surely most only stream if the games aren’t being shown anywhere? How many AFC games have they failed to schedule? How often have they not had a game Saturday lunchtime or had a day like last Sunday which was anything but Super? No disrespect to mid-ranked teams like Leicester and Manu but mass audiences need something to draw them, en masse.

    The other issue for both Sky and BT is the parlous state of their non-film broadcasting which is widely derided in fan circles. How many just switch on for the games and switch off immediately? Too, many, I expect.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Reported “Viewing figures” rather like TV “detector” vans I distrust on principle. I suspect a good dollop of fiction in them. Irrespective of the alleged Sky peaks and troughs as it is a subscription service surely it only matters when people start pulling out of their packages, not whether they watch games or not. If it does fall apart in terms of revenue Sky/BT will simply not pay the sums agreed, the same as happened to the Football League with Ondigital back in the early Noughties


  12. It did remind me very much of the collapsed Football League deal Andrew. And the sheer speed that deal unraveled.

    Sky do rely (at least in part) on advertising revenue which in turn relies on these viewer numbers so whilst subscriber churn rates are clearly key, the number of viewers supposedly falling away will still be extremely bad news for them.

    Personally I think the number of times Super Sunday has been anything but Super due to the uninspired match selection, is as much to do with it as anything. (Same true for Saturday games, the possible unpopularity of Friday fixtures, Monday games etc). If that’s true, we can expect to see them up the game, so to speak. Tee that up with the generally poor state of punditry these days and you have a recipe for apathy on a wide scale.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. It is a bit of a stale format which has hardly changed for 10-15 years – it would be interesting to see Sky get someone in to redesign the programming and the on screen presentation from top to bottom. Surely with better technology they can do better than the predictable drivel we put up with.


  14. AA and Anicoll

    The Sky TV drop in viewer figures is probably, at least in part, because the ‘exclusive’ tag has gone and that with the ‘more’ matches equates to more dross, as TV has to show more games and over-saturation satiates the appetites of all fans.

    The game last night was an example — yawn, yawn — part way thru the 2nd half I found it necessary to go walk the dog.

    In addition, more of my friends and associates are turning to NOW TV which lets them pick and choose which games they want to watch and pay for. [Not sure how it works, but they buy on a daily basis – or not] that must hurt the figures for Sky, and maybe BT too, tho they seem to be coy about their numbers, and have been low for some time I understand.

    Can’t say I care really – I am becoming a bit choosy myself with alternative sports attracting my attention – so only Arsenal games are a surefire thing for me.


  15. Yes, it seems, somewhat ironically, that as the technology toys get better and better, the overall quality of the presentation gets worse and worse and you’re right Andrew, it IS stale.

    If it were down to me I’d ensure there were ‘advocates’ for each side so that there were proper debate, actual contention and even the odd falling out with each other. It’s just so bloody cozy and dull these days. Absolutely NO-ONE will challenge the commentary bollocks when it swings onto the auditory horizon and teams are either brilliant (or clever) or somehow deficient, and the black and white nature of the coverage is what is killing it. I confess I didn’t carry on watching last night but I’d be amazed if anyone challenged Jose’s various positive claims for his side’s result/tactics etc. Anyone watching it (and still awake) will surely have bristled at his assertions.

    The NOW platform is interesting as it does allow you to pick and choose which games to watch and pay for and to some extent I’m surprised it exists; I think it’s intended to be an option for those of us with less of the disposable stuff. But the cost now of a monthly subscription (if you include BT’s subscription and extra for High Def) is substantial and until the product improves itself (eg, with the introduction of Video Technology which will generate huge interest) I can see the figures continue to spiral downwards.

    Ultimately if The Deal itself unwound it would be interesting to see where the majority of clubs would then find themselves. Reasonably sure Arsenal would be the least affected …

    Liked by 1 person

  16. There used to be a bit of pleasure about live football on TV. A (usually) good quality game to look forward to on a Sunday afternoon, put my feet up, relax and enjoy, even if it was not Arsenal.

    Now it is PL Football on Friday night, Saturday lunchtime, Saturday night, 2 or three games on Sunday, then Monday night.

    Then if we are lucky midweek games on a Tuesday, and a Wednesday, and if BT or Sky are feeling particularly cheeky they will slot in a Thursday game as they did for us against the Baggies.

    PL football 7 days a f******** week !

    Liked by 3 people

  17. There you go guys — satiation looms. Too much of a good thing?


  18. Even if the football were superb (which its is often far from) the quantity of PL football on the box is too much even for my obscenely enthusiastic appetite H.

    As a fan who shamelessly enjoys TV football more does not necessarily mean better


  19. And more not meaning better is becoming increasingly self-evident by the day. The sheer numbers of over-priced Man u summer acquisitions alone that routinely turn into the damp squibs of Autumn despite the earlier, sunnier headlines that promised so much more, but now threaten to derail more than a few careers.

    I’m sure it was all meant to have been so different. But looking at Jose’s track record suggests a winter of discontent was always on the cards for the gentlemen of the North West. That so many clubs (including Arsenal, it must be said) have gambled on the success of so many high-ticket imports is a little scary. There are still only four places up for grabs for the CL, only one winner of the Premiership, after all.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. OMG its Deano on Saturday in charge against Boro !

    Liked by 1 person

  21. What a good reason to moan! Dean, at least it is at the Ems and against a manager, a pupil of “you know who”.

    As for Sky and BT, it is the football side subscriptions that matter, not the match viewing audience?

    Sporting Intelligence have one or two articles, rather dated now.

    Liked by 3 people


    Arsène Wenger faced the media at London Colney on Tuesday ahead of his side’s Champions League Group A clash against Ludogorets.

    The Arsenal manager was asked about Olivier Giroud’s return, Granit Xhaka’s red card against Swansea and how the Premier League is shaping up.
    Team news: Latest on Giroud and Ramsey
    ‘This game is massively important’

    This is what he had to say:

    on Giroud’s return…
    He is an important player in our squad. The squad is not 11, we are 25 players and everybody will contribute at different parts of the season. What sometimes looks permanent in October is completely revolutionised in December. We all have only one target: to be successful together, no matter who it is.

    on Xhaka’s red card…
    It is one red card. We are not responsible for the red cards he got somewhere else. Yes, he made a foul that could have got him a yellow card, that could have got him a red card and it was not meant to hurt anybody. It was just a late tackle to stop the counter-attack that has been punished. He is intelligent enough to analyse that as well.

    on the title race…
    It’s difficult to say, to predict. But what you see after eight games played — it’s tight. That shows that it’s down to how well you can play in every single game to keep up there and to fight for the championship. We have to show that we can be consistent, I think the team is focused, the team wants to play the football we want, they believe in what we do and with our good ingredients after we have to show the desire, the hunger in every single game.

    on player contract negotiations…
    It was always difficult. Honestly, what has changed is the size of the numbers but the difficulty was always the same. It’s always difficult to keep the good players because they are wanted by other clubs and it’s normal as well that the players try to get the maximum out of their negotiations because they have 10 years to play at the top level if all goes well. So it has always been difficult, you know, just the numbers have changed.

    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/20161018/wenger-on-giroud-xhaka-and-focus#DGZlDtohvSzOks1A.99


  23. As I promised yesterday here is some more of the interesting stuff John Smith (super agent) Firsty he was at the ground floor when the PL was set up along with a certain david dein (for all those who love him but want their old ARSENAL back) alan sugar and of course the horrible murdoch. He suggest the final two big areas for the PL to exploit are china and india, where football is now catching cricket but after that he thinks it will hit the glass ceiling. He was trying to explain to the doom mongers in the audience that our stable model, based on an american structure, was a brilliant way to sail through all types of stormy waters. The idea of a non interfering (silent) owner was a good thing but the chain of command with Ivan, Dick Law and Arsene made us slower than other clubs in the transfer market, this is exassabated with Arsene, not being unwilling to pay the asking price or being tight, but being ultra catious. Freddie was watched 47 times before we went forward with the transfer. This puts payed to the idea of panic buys as someone who is ultra cautious would not indulge in fire sales. This is different to the spuds model which is basically levy getting names from the incumbent sporting director and then spending the money as long lewis agrees. This is obviously quicker than our model but much more risky as proved with the 411 players brought, failed and then sold with bale money.The analitics warehouse in cambodia also slows the procedure down because of the sheer amout of data it has.
    Oh and while we talking about real madrid he confirmed what we all thought that they are still basically the Franco club and can get any player they wanted. Other things he confirmed was the use of media by agents. The hacks are waiting on the agents every word for a story and so when renegotiating a contract it makes sense to tell the hack their player has been offered so much from city,chelski, ARSENAL etc.
    He said when fergie left scotland he was untouchable not just in football but also in several areas of power and of course when he left manure he had the same power there and that is why he couldn’t move upstairs they had to get him out compleatly.
    The modern day superagent now doesn’t just buy and sell clubs but effectively owns clubs which is the case with maureens mate and wolves apparently.
    The good news as I said yesterday was he believes Arsene will sign a new two year deal, as long as the season goes well, and that Mezut wants to stay. The PL rules have a percentage of salary to revenue and that will eventually become a salary cap.
    The AGM is monday which ast was moaning about because it has traditionally been on a thursday and this years figures will be gone into in detail. They suggested we have a 80 mil transfer budget left from the summer however with several contract renewals up for our big earners I cant see how even their estimate will last long.

    Liked by 6 people

  24. Coquelin on competition for places: “Let’s not forget this is Arsenal Football Club.”

    Liked by 3 people

  25. Cheers AoB


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