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Arsenal – Healthy as the Ox

 

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Good morning to you all aboard the Positive Arsenal bus,

We stride serenely on to the quarter finals of the League Cup having disposed of Reading last night and tonight’s games take on that much more interest to spot out next opponents.

I admit that looking at the team sheet I was a little nervous. As well all knew from his announcement the day before there would be young players brought in, Jeff, AMN and that Carl would almost certain be back. Six Arsenal players under 20 I am told by those who know. Even those older players, Gabby, Perez, Elneny, Emmy, Alex Iwobi and Rob Holding had played no more than a handful of games between them. ( I guess 50 starts (?) between the six of them) The Ox was the only really experienced man in a red shirt. What I did not expect was that on the bench we would go with what another selection of youth players, barring Olivier. This was Cup football with no safety net, one slip from the high wire and the chances were the plunge would be fatal.

I recognise my foolishness now. Arsene knows these players and works with them every day. He trusted his players and on the night and they performed well, not brilliantly, not perfectly, but professionally and took their chance to show him, and us, what they can do.

Stand out for us I thought was the Ox who was the most influential player on the pitch. I use influential because if you score the two goals that win your team the game clearly your contribution has to be recognised. I mean it also in the sense that most of our attacking impetus came through him and was directed by him. He put the occasional foot wrong, misplaced a pass and/or blazed shot high and wide, but where in previous games that setback would have distracted him for the next ten minutes last night he just got on with his job. He seemed to me a lot more confident and understood how important he was, as senior man.

Of the returners I was pleased to see Carl Jenkinson look so fit and that he managed 90 minutes with no obvious drop of energy is much to his credit. I have no idea where Matt Debuchy might be but I presume that the Corporal will be back up for Hector, and pressing the Spaniard, over the next few weeks. Giroud’s 25 minutes showed he is fit and firing. I suspect Sunlun may find the Frenchman breathing down their necks on Saturday lunchtime.

Of the youngsters AMN I thought did well and looked as though he is next to step up to the PL/CL. We are not short in central midfield but we have a lot of football to play in the next few weeks. Jeff I thought looked less assured and he looks to me like the next candidate for a loan to allow him to get some football experience against experienced opposition under his elegant belt.

The only weakness last night was the final pass around the box and the finishing. The final pass will improve when Perez has more experience of playing with Iwobi and the Ox ( and the rest of the AFC midfield) , and vice versa. Finishing needs working on and Alex Iwobi will no doubt be reflecting on this today.

Of our opponents ? The fans enjoyed their evening, their players tried to keep the ball on the ground and play football. They were better than Chelsea.

Onwards and upwards to the Stadium of Light mes amis.

 

( in case you are wondering  our friend at the top is a Berkshire Old Spot)

 

About anicoll5

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

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81 comments on “Arsenal – Healthy as the Ox

  1. I think the problem was the reading player wasn’t just a big lump he was fucking enormous. He looked like a wardrobe and him landing on your ankle was never going to turn out well

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I think the problem was the reading player wasn’t just a big lump he was a useless fucking enormous piece of shit

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Bigger feet than Kanu – almost bound to cause injury in the confined space of a football pitch.

    Like

  4. image: http://www.arsenal.com/assets/_files/scaled/696×392/oct_16/gun__1476794046_giroud.jpg
    Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud
    TEAM NEWS: GIROUD, RAMSEY AND NACHO

    Arsène Wenger has revealed the latest team news ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
    He revealed updates on Olivier Giroud, Aaron Ramsey and Nacho Monreal and this is what he had to say:

    on the latest team news…
    From Tuesday night we’ve lost Lucas for a while with an ankle injury. I think he’ll be out for six to eight weeks. We have Giroud back available and Aaron Ramsey will be in the squad. We are [almost] in November, they have not played so it’s good to have them back. We have a few uncertainties over Walcott, Monreal and Cazorla, but they will all have tests today.

    on Giroud and Ramsey…
    They are available for selection. I have to be a bit cautious, especially with Aaron Ramsey, because he has not played at all yet. He has only had one week with the team so I will be a bit cautious with him.

    on Lucas getting injured just as he was getting more minutes…
    Yes it’s very frustrating because he worked very hard to get there. Of course he is absolutely gutted, because it’s an injury coming from nowhere, and a stupid one, because it was a deliberate kick. It’s a similar tackle to [the one from] Xhaka [against Swansea], but there was no red card. But the red card would not have helped Lucas. What is most important is that he’s out for six to eight weeks.

    on whether Theo Walcott is ill…
    No, he is not ill. There is a slight hamstring alert, a very minor one. He will have a test today.

    on whether Theo will be available to face Ludogorets…
    He should be OK for Tuesday. If it’s not tomorrow, it’s OK for Tuesday.

    on Nacho’s injury…
    He has a little muscle tightness.

    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/20161028/team-news-giroud-ramsey-and-nacho#4gitCMyHql9tSUTr.99

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  5. anicoll5, can you imagine the destruction that would be wrought in a lift by anyone with feet bigger than Kanu’s?

    Not that I have any personal knowledge of the size of Kanu’s feet, and I no longer have a fetish about what goes on in lifts, other than to grin each time I see the late Peter Sellers corpsing in the packed lift scene in the Pink Panther when someone farted!

    I know, I know – flatulent schoolboy humour – but I loved it.

    And a good day to you All.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Good evening Henry,

    You reminded me it is 6 on Friday evening …..

    Like

  7. ESPN FC ‏@ESPNFC 4h4 hours ago
    Paul Pogba “doesn’t have the midfielder’s ability to control a game … he has no positional sense” – Johnny Giles. http://es.pn/2fmfy1n

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  8. arsenal u23’s play sunderland u23’s tonight, kick off at 7

    Like

  9. Arsenal FC ‏@Arsenal 3m3 minutes ago
    #AFCU23 team to play Sunderland: Macey, Johnson, Bielik, Sheaf, M Bola, Bennacer, Zelalem, Nelson, Hinds, C Willock, Mavididi

    Like

  10. afcstuff ‏@afcstuff 8h8 hours ago
    Puel (Southampton manager) on wide-ranging managerial role: “Wenger is the last of the Mohicans. That role all doesn’t exist anymore.”

    Like

  11. Arsenal FC ‏@Arsenal 9m9 minutes ago
    #AFCU23 substitutes: Keto, Dasilva, McGuane, Dragomir, Nketiah

    Like

  12. no MN and RA interesting

    Like

  13. Sunderland AFC ‏@SunderlandAFC 28s28 seconds ago
    28′ Penalty to @Arsenal after a quick bit of combination play on the edge of the end saw Nelson felled

    Sunderland AFC ‏@SunderlandAFC 18s18 seconds ago
    29′ GOAL – @Arsenal take the lead through Mavididi. @MaxStryjek went the right way but couldn’t prevent it nestling in the bottom corner

    Like

  14. it would never do if Arsenal.com/twitter would bother themselves with update from the u23 game.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. its absolutely disgusting

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Sunderland AFC ‏@SunderlandAFC 2m2 minutes ago
    54′ GOAL @Arsenal U23 2-0 #SAFC U23 – Nelson taps home at the back post after after good play from #AFC down the left flank

    Like

  17. //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

    Like

  18. 0-3 Reiss and Hinds that changed quickly

    Like

  19. Sunderland AFC ‏@SunderlandAFC 3m3 minutes ago
    57′ GOAL @Arsenal U23 3-0 #SAFC U23 – Hinds makes it 3-0 as he pokes the ball beyond Stryjek after the stopper spilled the initial effort

    Like

  20. Sunderland AFC ‏@SunderlandAFC 1m1 minute ago
    65′ GOAL @Arsenal U23 4-0 #SAFC U23 – Willock makes no mistake and drives the ball beyond Stryjek

    Like

  21. 65′ GOAL @Arsenal U23 4-0 #SAFC U23 – Willock makes no mistake and drives the ball beyond Stryjek

    Like

  22. Sunderland AFC ‏@SunderlandAFC 58s59 seconds ago
    74′ First changes of the evening for @Arsenal sees Hinds and Mavididi make way for Dragomir and Nketiah

    Like

  23. Ben DinneryVerified account@BenDinnery
    Just been told that Walcott [tight hamstring] and Monreal [thigh] “are likely to miss tomorrow, but both should be back Tues, or Sun.” #AFC

    Like

  24. Feast your eyes in this:

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Positively Arsenal ‏@Blackburngeorge 18m18 minutes ago Blackburn, England
    Arsene wenger has been in charge of Arsenal for longer than the combined time of all the other 19 managers, at their current clubs.
    P.S. I just made that up. But doesn’t it sound good?

    the thing is george you did not make it up, as far as I know, it is indeed a fact. It certainly was a fact a year ago, and 9 of the clubs have new managers this season. the longest serving manager of the rest is Eddie howe with 4 years, but just his second season in the bpl, mark hughes with 3 years has the most bpl time.

    Like

  26. new post up

    Like

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