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Arsenal Versus Ludogorets: Odd Man Out

odd

One of the barbed suggestions bandied about wherever Arsenal fans are scoring points off one another (and as I write this I must confess to the warm blush of shame because I seem to remember employing it myself on more than one occasion) is “If that’s how you feel then you are following the wrong sport”. The longer my dalliance with internet based support lasts the more I wonder if that pithy phrase isn’t one I ought more appropriately to have levelled at myself.

I never seem to quite be able to judge the tone, am never quite in step with my peers. Take Saturday morning’s little bit of fluff, dashed off before breakfast it was intended as a light rebuke to myself, a reminder to enjoy the game for its own sake and not allow the peripheral flim flam to obfuscate the simple pleasures which are the foundation of a supporter’s obsession. And yet several people told me they took it as a rebuke, a ‘smack on the wrist’, as if I were handing out poor marks in Arsenal class.

I misjudge, my darts fly awry.

Similarly after the dastardly Mr Moss provided us all with a suitable villain to gather around and bash like a verbal piñata I rolled up with my big stick ready to start swinging. But what did I find? Nearly everyone had erected a statue to the sainted whistle and card merchant and were genuflecting before their poor misunderstood and wrongly maligned hero.

I miss the beat, come in on the wrong note.

This latest reminder of my inability to properly bond with the gang is a mere synecdoche to the larger script of my life and I didn’t ought to be surprised when it applies to a hobby such as football. My favourite politicians are hounded, lambasted and hated by their own side as much as by their enemies, my favourite football manager is treated with revulsion by the majority of the football world and my favourite team never seems to receive recognition for its achievements, is damned with the faintest of praise and overlooked unless there is a negative tale to tell.

So what to do? I can’t alter my allegiances. Not when they arise from somewhere so deep and visceral. I can’t pretend to love the divisive politics of hate and contempt just so that the mainstream media will reflect my views. I can’t pretend that referees are just ‘failing every now and then because they have such a difficult job’ when their incompetence or poisoned hearts are on naked display week in week out, and I can’t start wearing a Liverpool scarf or Tottenham shirt just to experience the approval of sports journalists and pundits everywhere.

Now it seems I can’t even write an Arsenal blog without making it all about me when it’s supposed to be about the team and written for everyone.  Or can I?  I’ll tell you what, just for a minor diversion, for a ‘giggle’ as Londoners are so fond of saying, let’s see if I can get in step with the rest of world and not feel so horribly isolated and adrift. I’m going to write a proper football blog for a change.

Here goes.

Tonight the Emirates stadium will be packed with dozens of empty seats for the visit of Bulgarian no hopers Ludogorets. With the price of seats and the match live on BT Sports not to mention the shaky home form since the first half against Chelsea I can’t blame fans for staying at home. Even after struggling to convince against relegation fodder such as Burnley and league strugglers Swansea I can’t imagine even Wenger can pick a team unable to win and win easy tonight and not struggle against Euro group strugglers Ludogrets. Honestly scraping a lucky draw against PSG and then failing to build on a good opening against Basel when their defence was holey like a holey Swiss cheese isn’t good enough and unless something changes and changes tonight we will be lucky to scrape second place YET AGAIN in our group. The experiment with Sanchez down the middle has failed. Yes he has scored a few but he has played so far out of position for most of the games that even Theo Walcott found himself further forward twice and scored where a centre forward ought to of been. For that reason I cannot see why Wenger won’t start Lucas Perez tonight. I mean to say, why sign a centre forward then play a winger down the middle? We needed a replacement for Giroud who is slow and simply NOT GOOD ENOUGH. We did not need to move Sanchez around he was doing just fine where he was. It is like Arshavin and Podolski all over again. Monreal had an absolute nightmare on Saturday against a complete unknown and it was only bringing on Gibbs that saved us from further embarrassment down that side. For this reason I believe it is time for Gibbs to get his chance. The boy has done nothing wrong and MUST start tonight. I saw the Ox on Sky and it is obvious he is not happy. Why spend so much money on a player and not play him? It is Perez all over again. He must be given his chance. I would play him on the wing instead of Theo who missed three sitters on Saturday. Don’t let a couple of tap in goals fool you he is not Arsenal quality and never has been it is like Aliadiare all over again so for that reason Ox MUST start tonight. Xhaka has scored a couple of good goals but on Saturday showed his true colours and is not to be trusted in our midfield. Because Wenger failed to strengthen in that area again we have no choice but to start Elneny even though it is obvious Wenger doesn’t trust him or if he did he would of picked him more and anyway he will go the the cup of Africa Nationals soon anyway. My team would be Cech Bellerin Gibbs Mustafi Kos Elneny Santi Ozil Sanchez Perez Ox but I know Wenger will play the midget Colombian in goals no matter what the fans want but I cannot see how there can be any other changes from my line up there. This is a MUST WIN game. We deserve a better performance than which we have lately been seeing but honestly three points will do no matter how we get them. In fact three points is all that matters. I can’t see us losing to a bunch of Balkan part timers who no one has ever heard of but this is Arsenal and we only do things the hard way don’t we?

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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95 comments on “Arsenal Versus Ludogorets: Odd Man Out

  1. lucas on for theo

    man city down to ten men, bravo sent off for handling outside his area

    Like

  2. barca 2-0 man city
    messi again

    Like

  3. nearly the goal of the night, as ox volleys an alexis lofted pass, and the keeper makes a fine save

    Like

  4. isn’t it odd that unlike when any other English team is playing foreign opposition, the English commentators openly want the foreign team to score when up against Arsenal.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Barca 3-0 man city
    messi with his hattrick

    Like

  6. 4 games without a win for Pep’s Man City, 2 defeats and 2 draws

    Like

  7. barca down to ten men now too.

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  8. great breakaway goal, lucas with a good cross to ozil who fires home 5-0

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  9. Ozil hattrick, lucas with another assist, a fine half volley from ozil

    Like

  10. what was it wenger said about Ozil adding goals to his game.

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  11. FT: 6-0 to the Arsenal
    ozil hattrick
    walcott, alexis and ox with a goal each

    several very high quality goals from arsenal tonight

    man city 4-0 down, neymar with the latest goal, minutes after he missed a penalty. Man city should hire one of those modern ambitious managers. Maybe the should go for the Barca manager

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Another lucky win against a semi organised gang of Slav amateurs – how Wenger gets away with it I shall never know

    Liked by 6 people

  13. don’t forget to include in the match report in the morning,

    we were all over the place in defense, and would have been punished by a better team, Coquelin adds nothing to our midfield, and its clear that lucas is out of his depth, as we hit six and he still failed to score or even come close to scoring.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Adrian Clarke@adrianjclarke
    Ozil has invented a new type of shot hasn’t he?! Love those hit-into-the-ground-first shots. Coq, Ox excellent. Positive Perez cameo too 👏

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I’m disappointed I wanted Lucas to score not have just two assists….

    Liked by 2 people

  16. RTE panel ripping into man city.

    Like

  17. I know GP – more deadwood

    Liked by 1 person

  18. OptaJoe ‏@OptaJoe 12m12 minutes ago
    5 – Mesut Ozil is the fifth Arsenal player to score a Champions League hat-trick (Henry, Bendtner, Welbeck, Giroud). Treble.

    OptaJoe ‏@OptaJoe 7m7 minutes ago
    100 – Arsenal’s win tonight was Arsene Wenger’s 100th in all European competitions in charge of the Gunners. Ton.

    Like

  19. I like Perez, I like him a lot, a great big fucking huge lot.

    Liked by 5 people

  20. Arsenal 6-0
    Man City 0-4

    Tricky night for the punditry.

    Pre-emptive strike from Phil Neville “I don’t think it has been a 4-0 game”

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Liam Brady says Pep isn’t the Guru the media make him out to be.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Brady really ripping into Stones performance, says the lad can’t defend, and is too casual, only makes token effort at defending. LB says Nolito hasn’t got a football brain.

    Like

  23. Mesut Özil ‏@MesutOzil1088 3m3 minutes ago
    Boom Bam Arsenal!💥😁 Brilliant team performance💪🏼 … & very happy about my first ever hattrick!☺️👍⚽️ #YaGunnersYa #WhatADay #AFCvLUD #UCL

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Orbinho ‏@Orbinho 1h1 hour ago
    Theo Walcott (14) now has the same number of goals in Europe for Arsenal as Freddie Ljungberg and just one short of Ian Wright

    Orbinho ‏@Orbinho 29m29 minutes ago
    Mesut Ozil becomes the 9th Arsenal player to score a European hat-trick

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Lucas got at least one assist.

    C’mon A5. Let’s be ‘aving you! You’ve got about 10 hours to step out of Nuetrality and write down what was shit about tonight. And how BAD the ref was.

    Ian Wright sounded disappointed in the immediate post-match summary. I should’ve stayed and watched the analysis. Would’ve been interesting to hear what’s being said about ManC.

    Come on A5. RIP ZimPaul.
    Well done Arsenal.

    Liked by 3 people

  26. Yoann ‏@YoannArsenal 1h1 hour ago
    Don’t ever try to compare Mesut Özil to these dabbing ass footballers.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Rantetta you will find lucas got two assists, both to Ozil

    Liked by 2 people

  28. I miss ZimPaul….boy do I miss him….

    Liked by 6 people

  29. What a night in memory of our man Zim Paul…

    Gone but never forgotten… was always a class act… both in full blogs and commentary and even away from things arsenal as we eventually saw… Always be glad he managed to get in touch with us even till the end!

    Liked by 2 people

  30. Great night.

    R.I.P. ZimPaul…

    RASERS!

    Liked by 4 people

  31. delicious,delightful,deadly. its almost like AW knows. Also, irony can be hard to pull off by text. Shrugs

    Like

  32. ‘OZIL HAS A TASTE TO SCORE GOALS NOW’

    Arsène Wenger was a happy man after his side beat Ludogorets 6-0 in the Champions League on Wednesday night, with Mesut Ozil scoring a hat-trick.
    The World Cup winner now has four goals in his last two games, and the Arsenal manager was delighted with his performance.

    This is what he had to say:

    on Mesut Ozil…
    He looks like he’s got a taste to score goals because he runs in behind more. Before, he only liked coming to the ball and providing, but we want him to be a provider and a scorer. It looks like he’s slowly moving towards that better balance.

    on Alexis coming off…
    I just wanted to give him a breather. He looks alright physically.

    on Shkodran Mustafi and Laurent Koscielny’s partnership…
    They have been very interesting and very efficient. They have a good understanding and overall we are good defensively, but sometimes it’s not because our defenders struggle. It’s because we are an offensive team and the structure of our team is very offensive, so when we do not really focus on defending we become vulnerable. Our structure focuses more on attacking than defending.

    on Santi Cazorla…
    He got a kick and I took him off as quickly as possible. He got a kick on the back of his achilles tendon. In my view he was limping a little bit so I didn’t want to take a gamble.

    on Krystian Bielik…
    The plan with him is to continue his development. He works with us a lot, with the first team. He has developed very well and for me he has all the attributes to be a great player. Now, he is not ready experience wise to play in our team, so hopefully I will consider the situation at the end of December to see if he can go out somewhere or whether we’ll keep him here until the end of the season.

    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/20161019/-ozil-has-a-taste-to-score-goals-now-#8PrrSPxuKPK4ITTY.99

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  33. WENGER ON THE WIN, OSPINA, GOALS

    Arsenal continued their fine form by racking up a seventh successive win in all competitions by beating Ludogorets on Wednesday night.
    Arsène Wenger faced the media afterwards and discussed his side’s display, their free-scoring form and more. This is what he had to say:

    on the win…
    In the first half it looked like a difficult game because they were dangerous going forward. They had good technique in short spaces, they are quick on the counter-attack and it was not easy. We took complete control of the game in the second half and we could’ve score more because they had given a lot in the first half. They suffered a little bit physically in the second half.

    on breaking down Ludogorets…
    We scored early and maybe we eased off a bit too early. It’s funny because the more goals we scored, the better we defended. In the first half it’s true that we were sometimes in danger with runs coming from deep. The strikers came into midfield, flooded the midfield and got them out of pressure. Then we were in trouble twice. We’d like to give credit to Ospina who saved us twice with very important saves.

    on the reason for scoring so freely…
    The confidence is high, we have a good balance at the moment in the team and maybe it’s because we’ve been making more of our chances. The final ball is better. Is that because our finishing is better? It’s difficult to analyse at the moment, but what is for sure is that we score more goals. We score lots of goals. That’s what our game is about. We have a risky game and therefore it’s important that we take our chances.

    on not buckling under pressure…
    In this game, a lot is linked with confidence as well and I feel that because we’re winning game after game, the confidence is high. Maybe when we get into these dodgy periods, there’s less psychological damage. What you want is to get them out as well.

    on being under pressure against Swansea…
    We could’ve paid for the chances we gave away, but as long as you score three, the opponent has to score four to beat you. Let’s continue to score goals and get these lapses of concentration out of our game.

    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/20161019/wenger-on-the-win-ospina-goals#TzIL223caSCvtYl4.99

    Like

  34. Thanks Edu. I couldn’t keep count.

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  35. Jesus Christ, ITV more negative over Arsenal’s 6-0 win, than over Man City’s 4-0 defeat.

    Liked by 3 people

  36. Wish I hadn’t wasted my money, but fortunately I left early to catch the tube.
    We were lucky to face such poor opposition.
    Ospinas a poor keeper.
    Perez…..barn door.
    Ozil is stealing a living
    Sanchez is no striker
    Theo doesn’t have a football brain
    Just wish we had Moyes or Jose to play proper football

    Liked by 5 people

  37. Keane loves Kolo

    Like

  38. Well well well.
    Ozil is on fire,
    Arsenal is on fire,
    Positively Arsenal is on fire.
    Good times roll.

    Liked by 5 people

  39. Its all going rather swimmingly for now. I’m quite please, truth be told.

    Like

  40. Regular reader of the blog from back in the ACLF days, but first post. I just wanted to mention how great it is to see Mesut develop under Arsene. He is a stronger, fitter, more dangerous player than when he joined and now he is scoring. First professional hat-trick tonight. Wonderful player. This is why he signed.
    Also wanted to say thanks to everyone that contributes to this amazing site.

    Liked by 2 people

  41. The presenter said that ian wright said off air he was hoping ludo score first to make it a better game something I’ve never heard any supporter say. I thought Ospina and Le Coq were brilliant when we were under pressure and forward force took care of the rest
    Virtually everything wright and Owen said before the game was wrong

    Liked by 2 people

  42. How long before it becomes an established truth that Pep doesn’t do defense? Or is that sort of thing the sole preserve of Arsene?

    I’m not writing City and Guardiola off by any means, but if Arsenal had defended like that the reaction would’ve been so different. Not to mention the uproar if Wenger had forced out an established goalkeeper and bought a keeper who made so many mistakes. God knows they hung on to the notion of Ospina being useless simply because he made one error last year, and of course the totally shameful behaviour towards Fabianski.

    On to happier things and the fact that all of our starting front 4 got at least a goal (or 3) and Perez got 2 good assists, is such a positive. Koscielny is just amazing. Ospina was fantastic again, and Coquelin was brilliant with near perfect midfield play. The Bulgarian side will be dismissed as amateurs, but they certainly showed that they have some quality. Also to their credit, the game never became dirty or wild despite the scoreline and a referee seemingly reluctant to call fouls.

    Now on to Middlesbrough and Dean. What odds that we get a phantom pen given against us, seeing Dean’s erratic approach towards awarding pens this season, and his general propensity to screw us over?

    Liked by 2 people

  43. New post up

    Like

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