Arsenal – More And Less Than A Derby

fullsizerenderGood morning Positive Arsenal fans.

A blustery Monday morning in Norfolk as we move into an interesting week, though the international football is to be our primary focus over the next few days.

Of yesterday’s game? A fair result punched out by two sides that worked hard for 95 minutes. Our visitors had the edge defensively and, other than a 10-15 minute period before half time, shut down just about everything we put together as we got within the final third. I do not think we were on our top game. We did not test Lloris enough. Again we saw our lads struggle in front of goal at home at the weekend, following a free-scoring midweek in Europe. I can’t imagine that sequence is just coincidence, but I would be hard pushed to put down the cause to fatigue. Perhaps even the very best players find it hard to flick backwards and forwards between the different demands of CL and PL football every few days?

Us?  Though not classic Wengerball we had good performances from a number of our lads. Hector I thought was Man of the Match, very mobile, very sharp, and looked most likely to get on the score sheet during the second half. Granit performed well and there was no evidence of the red mist descending in what, on a couple of occasions, flared up into the usual NLD handbag waving contest. Theo maintained his good form and was always involved. I was as surprised as he was when he was hooked. On the downside I thought Alex Iwobi did not look comfortable or show us his best. I would have liked to see him take on the donkey Walker more, one on one. Usually he is only too happy to dribble into the box but yesterday that part of his game was missing. I think we needed something “unexpected” like that to crack the Spurs defence. At 20-years old and with his debut just one year ago his form will go up and down so no worry there. I suspect the youngster may get a rest with Aaron coming in.

Did we miss Santi ? I think we did and I look forward to his restoration at Trafford Park for the lunchtime kick off on the 19th.

Them? I read in the mainstream media that the “three at the back” tactical master-stroke devised by Pochettino was our downfall?  I don’t think so. I thought one of their “three” was an accident waiting to happen even before his silly own goal. (Excellent call by the linesman btw for our goal – I was convinced it was offside until the third showing on the TV). Dembele earned a lot of praise in the mainstream media as Spuds’ best player, indeed the official MOTM on BT. He did well but Son was a right handful, he left Mustafi trailing on one occasion. He was constantly busy. The Korean also was commendably sporting in not taking Cech’s head off his shoulders after the horrible slip our keeper suffered. Plenty of players would have gone for the ball. That was a bad moment.

Not the send-off into two weeks of the international wilderness that we were hoping for but a point gained nonetheless. I see that Ozil has been given a break by Joachim Low which is helpful to preserve the player for a few more weeks. Fingers crossed the rest come back safe and sound, and ready to nail down the coffin lid of the Portuguese.

Vote early, vote often and enjoy your week.

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67 comments on “Arsenal – More And Less Than A Derby

  1. As always, I appreciate and enjoy your match reviews, A5. Thank you.

    I hope as many of you as possible took a look at The Breakdown. A. Clarke sometimes hints at the refshite that goes on, and in this edition he pointed out the number of fouls made by totty in the 2nd half. (MOTD2 showed quite a few but didn’t question them, they only complained, bitterly, about “the law is an ass”, re: the own goal/offside.
    The Breakdown also revealed how much Ars players had run, and it was much more than totty.

    Naturally, nowt was said about Wanyama. Indeed, he would’ve been MOTM if Dumbell-y’s cheating hadn’t earned totty a point. Imagine giving MOTM to a player that cheated!



  2. Adrian is always good Ranty and I don’t miss him ever. He called Hector and Granit as putting in good performances and the young Spaniard’s figures are exceptional.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Should clarify: we are not hypocrites here Andrew.

    Who has not made a similar Dembele dive in a game of five a side in order to make people laugh (not to win a pen, as there’s no ref to indulge) over such lame amateur dramatics that we see on the professional field?

    The evidence left by people writing on these pages all last week that Tottenham players are divers means none of us are or were surprised or even upset to see Tottenham players diving in order to win a pen.

    We expected it (IBSF). As the interlull starts where I am happy to speculate is that the pgMOB do not care about he recent tournament performances by England against Iceland, Costa Rica and Ecuador. At least we’ve got the best refs eh?


  4. More interesting topic:

    Swansea’s board became famous for following a particular template, one that saw Britton and others playing in the PL whereas other clubs and managers would’ve preferred some gr*t and thunder (up in the clouds).

    Was there a change in board or a change in policy?
    Either way I thought it was a sad day when they turned their backs upon their previous commitment. Look at Southampton: they’ve stuck to their guns, just like the Gunners…


  5. Inconvenient though it is Fins, sinister I am sure some will say, English referees are well regarded among the UEFA and FIFA ranks.

    Have you, or anyone on here, heard anything about the video experiment in the Netherlands which must have been going for more than a year now ? With Blatter retired I assumed the introduction of technology would have accelerated, or at least been a bit more centre stage, but all is silence. Most odd.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Telegraph – 2 SEPTEMBER 2016
    Plans to use video reviews at the next World Cup took one giant leap forward on Thursday night after the first live test of the format proved a spectacular success.

    “We turned a new page in football’s history book,” declared Fifa president Gianni Infantino, following the debut of so-called Video Assistant Referees (VARs) during a friendly between Italy and France in Bari.

    It’s coming. Staggeringly, mind blastingly late, but inevitable nonetheless.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s probably because it was Tottenham, but I’m not as down about our performance as some seem to be. The result was disappointing and without that more than generous penalty, we could have easily seen a well deserved 1 – nil to the Arsenal. There was some post-CL weariness on display, but I really did not think we played that badly and to be fair to the spuds, they had their moments too. Perhaps we need that little international break to regain our composure as much as the players do!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. And just as in the cricket:

    It will be a progression when it happens.


  9. im sure others have expressed in these pages that the officials deserve all the help they cancer when faced with divers such as Alli etc.

    In my mind if the VARs is calibrated to respect the onfield official as it is in the cricket then a call such as the pen on Sunday would still sand, but I haven’t seen the system and that is complete speculation. I guess if they’re testing it in friendlies that we’ll have a look soon enough.

    Whilst they’re at it someone could give the fourth official a stopwatch and actually help free up the refs focus (on play).


  10. I think it is 100% certain that technology as far as reviewing incidents again will only be at the request of the on field referee. The notion is f giving coaches a set of challenges to use as in cricket is too terrible to contemplate.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I very much think a new generation of referees, trained in the use of and comfortable with technology, will be required to maximise the benefit.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. “As well as allowing reviews for potential penalty and red-card offences, the criteria limited them to moments a goal is scored and clearing up cases of mistaken identity.”

    “Trials have already taken place in the United Soccer League – the third tier of football in the USA – and it will also be tested in six other countries in the next two years, including Germany and Italy.”

    Just as long as we don’t see robo-refs. Mike Dean drones, facsimiles of his gurning head buzzing about the pitch, it should be all good


  13. Did we dodge a bullet with Vardy, he has now gone 13 games without a goal


  14. A5

    Yes, Adrian C. is very good.
    Funny enough, he was on the 1st or 2nd PA Podcast and made a beautiful and friendly contribution.


  15. How Tottenham’s 451 fouls can equal no red cards at all.



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