Arsenal – Goals Are The Simplest Form Of Gratitude


добро утро (dobro utro) Positive friends and fans of The Arsenal,

Yet another pleasant Autumn morning here in Norfolk as I scribble the further instalment in what is turning into a very pleasant season indeed, on all fronts. Oh yes the pen is flowing across the page like warm creamy custard over a fresh peeled banana.

Of last night’s game Ludogorets came and, for the opening 30 minutes, gave a good account of themselves. They had done their homework and understood that to get something from the evening required a swift smash and grab of a goal, or better still two, then a retreat behind the barricades and let us do out worst. Those opening few minutes I would have to say their tactics nearly came off, with Wanderson, Cafu, Misidjan and Marcelinho ( I wrote the names down so as not to forget) buzzing around our half of the pitch and our defenders, and even Le Coq, hard pressed to keep a grip on them.

On two occasions in the opening 20 minutes Ospina pulled off saves that kept Johnny Bulgar at bay. Yet again the patient Colombian was called into immediate action after games on the bench and responded impeccably. Let in an unexpected goal at home early on CL night and it can be a long, long evening. Looking at the final score line one might forget our keeper’s key saves at a time when the game was very much in the balance. It would be wrong to do so.

Our first goal, delightful as it was, only temporarily halted them back and even then they pushed forward. Up the 41st minute this game was still a real contest, though one we were gaining a stranglehold of.

Our second goal however, young Theo’s unexpected but deadly strike from 25 yards to the top right hand corner, rocked the visitors. The flicker of hope which had sustained their energy through a bright first half was extinguished. They knew at 2-0 down that there was no realistic chance of restoring parity. Probably the timing of Theo’s goal meant that what would have been an upbeat orange sucking half time in the Ludogorets dressing room at just 0-1, was a much more sombre, “backs-to-the-wall-lads”, conversation.

Goals 3,4,5 and 6. The second half we dominated without, oddly enough, really hitting our best game I thought. As the visitors tired larger and larger spaces appeared and we have players who just love space and know what to do with it. In other games and so comfortably ahead we have sat back more but not last might, and the Ox and then Mesut helped themselves to the next four as we all saw. To a degree part of the shellacking the Bulgarians eventually suffered was down to a couple of questionable saves from the unfortunate Stoyanov but even we occasionally run into a keeper not at his best. An 11 minute hat-trick ? Ridiculous, but enjoy it when it comes to you son.

Match ball for Mesut. Relaxed end to the evening, everyone went home happy, probably even those 000’s who left at 4-0.

The game played in the right spirit. No cards, no diving, no obvious rough stuff. Hard but fair from both sides. Referee Dias a good effort. Who knew that Ludogorets have a London fan club !?! I see them as well able to steal third place from Basel. The only jarring note last night was some bizarre punditry on BT. I will not bother to name names or repeat the absurdities. You know who they are.

Two days break before Boro, a team whose confidence has sunk like a stone since a couple of decent opening results in August. A fragile opponent. I fancy our momentum will continue onward and upward. Whose to say when our scoring spree may end.

Enjoy your Thursday

About anicoll5

Arsenal supporter, 60, Dad, harmless and humourless, political militant moderate, school governor and worker bee

46 comments on “Arsenal – Goals Are The Simplest Form Of Gratitude

  1. Welcome GlobalGooner and ChrisGooner – apologies your posts were held in pending until I opened the shop this morning.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Super duper impressed with Perez. He seems perfect for our style.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Good, well-grounded response to a game with a score line which, whilst not exactly flattering Arsenal, failed to tell the whole story and you rightly highlight Ospina’s contributions at critical moments.

    Sadly for our opponents they were hit by some consistently consistent finishing of the kind we have, in all honesty, been expecting all season. And when I say consistent, I mean consistently spectacular.

    The phrase ‘what a goal’ was a frequent visitor to the pages of Twitter and take your pick as to the best of them.

    My favourite tweet from last night was along the lines of:

    ‘I’m trying to stay sensible but I really think Arsenal can go on to win the League, the Champions League and the USA presidential election”.

    I’m not sure we will walk the CL but I’d say that was a pretty decent shout, given the mood our forward line is in these days.

    So what’s that, one defeat in 7 months?

    Woe betide Middlesborough …

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Rob Ross ‏@gooner145 27m27 minutes ago
    @Blackburngeorge we shouldn’t even celebrate goals to be honest. What’s the point if we don’t actually win the league


  5. The old fart’s thoughts
    Strange game. We were out possessed and out passed and for much of the game the Bulgarians gave as much as they got. A minor problem was that they didn’t got Alexis, Theo, Mesut, Le Coq, Hector and Kieran, Koshkrodan, Santi, Ox and Oosp. Ossp was outstanding and in the first half, prevented some mistakes from resulting in goals. One in particular was ample justification for AW’s comment that we have two world class keepers.
    How about our goals? I’m not sure when we last scored six in a serious game but those delivered last night were great for different reasons.

    The first, pure genius from Alexis, then Theo’s blast from outside of the box, following Oz’s intelligent cross. Good work from Kieran eventually leading to Ox’s goal, and then for me, the goal of the night as Kos managed to save a dangerous looking break with a great tackle, Santi picking the ball up and releasing Oz who made the scoring look easy. Maybe 5 seconds twixt Kos’s tackle and the ball at the back of the net. Lovely stuff.

    Santi took a knock and was subbed shortly after with Mo Elneny and Lucas Perez came on for Theo who, once again, had performed at both ends. I am quickly trying to forget that the summer break saw me despairing at the loss of Joel Campbell and Serge Gnabry whilst keeping Theo on the books. 20 years of AW should have proved by now that he gets far more right than wrong. One final bit of amusement was Alexis’s displeasure at being subbed for young Alex. I get the feeling that with both legs out of action, Alexis would run on his hands.

    And then a final 2 goals from Oz to complete his first ever hat-trick. Both laid on by Lucas and taken well.

    For sure it’s early days and defensively, Ludogorets weren’t in the same league, but there was enough to suggest that this squad can achieve a great deal.

    And next up Boro. Would be good to see a clone of that famous 3-1 down and 5-3 up game by the invincibles. Keep the faith

    Liked by 5 people

  6. the piece of skill that most impressed me last night was Ozil’s first touch instant control of Santi’s pass in the build up to his first goal, not far behind was Ozil’s hit it into the ground shot, so the ball lobs over the keeper

    Liked by 1 person

  7. nice.Thanks A5 for the write up!
    Hark!Hear the cannons roar!


  8. one day soon… persons will give AW the credit he deserves!

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I think the people who matter do give Arsene credit Team, us for example.

    And the people who don’t ( the Alans and the Garys and the Wios and the Robbies and the endless same parasitic media pundits) have opinions concerning Arsene Wenger that I don’t regard as worth jack-shit now, and I do not really care what they think in the future.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Thank you Andrew.
    Hard to single out a performance last night, so many good ones were. there. I’d say the Ludogorets centre back looked really good, dispossessed both Alexis and Mesut with aplomb on a couple of occasions, blocked shots and used the ball well. Bravo. For us, Coquelin was huge. Far more than just an aggressive tackler he uses the ball well and with composure and was at the root of much that we did well. Mostly though Arsene Wenger was the star.
    He picked a side with some changes and made some substitutions all of which involved players who would have been highly motivated to make an impression. It contributed to the hunger in the side which in turn meant we didn’t settle at 3-0.

    Liked by 6 people

  11. Wonderful stuff A5, a really nice account of last night’s proceedings….As for the punditry, well best ignored…

    Liked by 3 people

  12. A5, well done with the write-up…captures the match so well even if we have watched it before! Also Steww. for the Pre – write up .. we do not take these things for granted even if we do not seem to say so often enough!

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Is Rio Ferdinand serious? and also all these people that bash the players for showing joy and sharing with fans?

    they should save it till we win a trophy? these little moments build up over the season and even when it does not end in a trophy that does not mean a guy cannot celebrate his first career hat trick! joy at your team winning and all round great performance from team mates!

    Are the Rios of this world for real?

    Liked by 6 people

  14. I loved every minute of that game on my DVR and every word of A5’s report. 11 games unbeaten is nothing to scoff at but my focus is the PL. I did some analysis on our current streak but I am holding publication until a more opportune time.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Got to admit I am concerned that we were opened up so easily on at least 3 occasions in the 1st half. I give the Bulgars credit. They were swift, slick and incisive on the counter-attack. I don’t think Dave gets enough credit for keeping them at bay.

    Most significant in my opinion is the strategic reserves in the form of Perez, The Ox and Gibbs are being readied and upgraded for the critical second half of the season when they will become very important as the 1st-11 gets worn out and tired by the effort to win as many battles in this round.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Yes, Shotta, our reserves able to slot in across the pitch from keeper to midfield to front men should not be taken for granted. I hope all see their role in the team as crucial and critical and not feel less part of the whole.

    to be able to remove an injured or tiring player and an El Neny or Gibbs or Ox can step in so cleanly is not also to be taken for granted… years of team building in ability and attitude coming together nicely

    Liked by 3 people

  17. Stan Collymore, Rio Ferdinand, Neil Ashton et al represent the crooked, lying mainstream media who did everything to mislead the public and Arsenal fans about the herculean task that faced Arsene after building a new stadium and fighting external money trying to buy the league. Just as bad are our big bloggers and tweeters who trot out the same lies in the hope of getting our great manager sacked. A pox on them all.

    Liked by 6 people

  18. I think Gibbs would have been more effective than Monreal against Swansea. His pace wold have limited Barrow much more. Against teams with pace I would opt for Gibbs.


  19. When you are not playing your best as a team ‘World Class’ players keep you in a game , then find away to get a result .

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Thanks AN5, well written report on what turned out an enjoyable evening.
    This team are making the game fun at the moment, in stark contrast to other performances from other teams this week. Our boys wont always be able to play like that, Special negators await, but runs and performances like this are to be cherished.
    Some credit to our opponents, who, as mentioned certainly gave it a go in the first half, and to their lively, and what I could see, numerous fans
    Collymore…..very amusing. Guess he prefers what he sees as proper, physical, British style players….Milner….Barry et all, whatever does it for him I guess

    Liked by 2 people

  21. It must be hard for the inhabitants of ACLF , Le Grove and the other anti AFC sites to hold their positions , without sounding even more stupid?

    Liked by 6 people

  22. after watching the 6-0 win, and having viewed the amount of criticism leveled at one player or another, before, during and after the game, it made me wonder what has contributed to people acting in this way. My idea is that there may be two kinds of football fan who indulge in this kind of behavior.
    1. the highlights fan
    2. the attention deficit fan

    the highlights fan – tend to be older, pre-sky generation, reared on little or no live coverage of the game, Match of the Day and the Big Match, was their core football education. So as the title suggests they formed their views on players and on the game having only ever seen the “edited highlights”, so only the very best or very worst was seen, 90 minutes condensed into five to ten minutes. Packed with goal after goal, or at least chance after chance. So when watching a full 90 minute game, they don’t understand why there is not goal after goal, or chance after chance, why much of every game is just plain hum drum, why player after player make easy looking mistakes. You don’t get that in a few minutes worth of highlights.

    the the attention deficit fan – tend to be younger, and want everything in an instant. They have been reared to believe that Middlesborough v Watford and Burnley v Sunderland constitutes a Super Sunday, cos SKY tells them it does. They believe a club can win a transfer window. The are told they need the latest gadget , food, holiday destination, clothes etc will make them happy, They want the next buzz and they want it now, they are told they are entitled to it and that someone has to be to blame if they are not happy.
    They have been told that everyone is entitled to an opinion, but sadly they believe this to mean that every opinion is equal, no matter how misguided or lacking in merit it is.

    so for both groups, anything other than perfection is treated as a disaster, someone has to be blamed, every expectation, no matter how outlandish, has to be met, and if not someone has to be scapegoated for it, The sporting ethos that its the taking part that counts is totally alien to them, any success has to be bettered, its how “we want any trophy” goes to “the FA Cup don’t count”, its why if a team wins the league, only retaining it comes close to being enough, the CL must be won.

    Liked by 3 people

  23. PG don’t leave ArsenalFanTV out of your list.


  24. Stupid narcissists blinded by their own misfiring Arsenal’s don’t care about sounding stupid otherwise they wouldn’t be stupid narcissists?

    is that a fair assesment?

    Liked by 1 person

  25. walking down Highbury Hill following the boisterous celebrations after the 2014 cup Final win in the early hours of the morning whilst conducting research for my cup final review we bumped into severla ladies and gentlemen exiting a boozer of disrepute and whilst briefly discussing the dummy on the Free Kick from Podolski that helped Cazorla (Plodders had his input to the regeneration of the club! And we were and are grateful for that even if he couldn’t do some of the other stuff..), one of them exclaimed:

    ‘It (the dummy) was a touch of class. That’s the Arsenal for you’

    I guess some people simply have no class.
    The kind that spend several years trying to ferment a revolt that results in a hundred people out of 60,000 holding up printed a4 banners at a football match? I guess so.


  26. And thank you Andrew for another wonderful review, especially enjoyed today’s title.

    A touch of class.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Positively Arsenal ‏@Blackburngeorge now Blackburn, England
    Stupid narcissists blinded by their own misfiring Arsenal’s don’t care about sounding stupid otherwise they wouldn’t be stupid narcissists?


    Liked by 1 person

  28. Excellent. Ta, A5.

    Like, like, like… the comments.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Rio Ferdinand would have criticised van Gogh for painting a self-portrait when he had only cut one ear off.

    Liked by 7 people

  30. That is a good FH – you wont see that again – consider it stolen

    Liked by 3 people

  31. Rio strikes me as a guy that one day, when nobody wants to hear his blabbering anymore, might cut off one of his ears, whisper in it, put it next to the other ear, and wait for the echo.

    Liked by 3 people

  32. My favourite moment of last night: the smile on Mesuts face after banging in his third, I find myself grinning from ear to ear with him when re- watching it.
    Ö Ö Ö !


  33. rio correct about this selfi lark, not something done in his day

    Liked by 1 person

  34. afcstuff ‏@afcstuff 2h2 hours ago
    Arsenal record with Mike Dean as referee since 2006/07:

    44 games
    12 wins
    17 draws
    15 losses
    27% win rate


  35. PG, do not waste your time with that previous site!

    A5, доброе утро (dough-bro-ye oo-tro)., or С добрым утром to you!

    That is the way a report on a match, should be written. Giving credit to the losers.

    As for the selfies, why not? The lads are enjoying, playing the game, without the handbrake on! Apart from the first 30 minutes or so.

    Dean v Middleborough? Now, Stew, your usual ‘caviar’, no pig’s trotters, if you please!


    Liked by 2 people

  36. NOTH is the Man (or Woman). Always liked, always will. “Usual caviar, no pig trotters.” Who else could coin that. Always had a way of smiting the dupes on that other blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Can’t agree with that CL team of the week Theo and Osppppina have to in instead of buffoon and meszy


  38. Billy Ö ‏@AFCGoonerO 9h9 hours ago
    So Jon Moss who sent off Xhaka is given the weekend off. AGAIN, those arguing with me that it was a RED, what do you have to say now?


  39. Who said it should have been red Eddy?
    I thought it looked red on first sight.
    So did Moss, I bet he doesn’t having seen it again?


  40. lots of people said it was right he got a red, and I’d say Moss still sees it as a red, otherwise wouldn’t he have put it in his match report and the red would have been downgraded to a yellow. I would say Moss’s only regret is that he is dropped for this weekend, he probably thinks he is hard done by.


  41. Moss dropped…I am beyond amazed??
    Still think it was a trip…..near the half way line……a yellow shade of yellow….sorry Arsene , but maybe your lack of appeal has been answered?

    Liked by 1 person

  42. New post up.


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