Arsenal: Riding the Range, Poking Stoke


Good morning Positive Arsenal fans,

We sit astride the bolting donkey of the 2016/2017 Premier League this Sunday morning. From my view downward from the saddle I can see a few of our competitors in disarray, particularly up in Manchester. Our lead may not survive the Baggies’ efforts at the home of the Champions elect this lunchtime but it is nevertheless a pleasant marker in the season. We deserve to be where we are this morning because we play football in the right way.

The game yesterday was well worth the Category C money. The Stoke City that turned up was probably the best team that sad little Midland town has put out since their return to the PL. A very brisk start. While I dislike Arnautovic for this part on the Debuchy shoulder injury he played well as a lone striker. Why Klopp sold Allen baffles me. Stoke put together at least two first half moves of attacking football that were of good quality and but for some smart defending and our excellent keeper the one goal they scored might have even been two or three.

Of note in yesterday’s game I thought the arrival of Hector transformed our performance which, to that point had been a little hesitant and wrong footed. That is not to insult Gabriel who has filled in well in the defensive aspects of being right back but our young Spaniard’s speed and attacking threat are exceptional weapons, unique in the present time in England. Suddenly space and time opened along the left side of the visitors’ defence that had not been there before. No surprise whatsoever that it was the Hector/Theo combo that levelled the score at the perfect time.

Of the penalty ? As I was at the wrong end I had no view of it at the time. Seeing it on the box a few times since the award was one that I can see why it was made. When they go in your favour therefore the referee is a man of impeccable integrity, a sound knowledge of the game and exceptionally good eye sight. When they go against you the official  is an absolute tool, naïve beyond belief, and almost certainly in the pay of tyrannical Gulf plutocrats.

Memo to Granit: Keep you elbows a teensy-weensy bit lower ‘cos next time it may not be just a penalty that results.

However, having encountered what is becoming a familiar obstacle of the one goal deficit, we displayed a commendable certainty in taking hold of the game over the next thirteen minutes before the equalizer. As I said Hector was an important part of breaking into the Stoke defence, Alexis was his usual pinball self and Ozil, after a quiet start, made space for himself to work in which, before half time he just could not find.

Of our second and third goals both demonstrated the intelligence of the scorers. Ozil’s was a perfectly judged finish to a chance that most other players would have struggled to know what to do with. The German’s instincts made his choice of the placed header over the stranded Grant look simple. It really was ot simple at all.

And what an end to the week for Alex Iwobi ?? Saw the opening, chose his spot, lovely finish. Last two times the youngster was in the stadium his evenings finished in defeat by the Saints, and the game before that an own goal and his immediate substitution against the dastardly PSG. Last night the hero.

For once I was much obliged to Sky last night for spotting the stamp by Adam on Sanchez in the lead up to Iwobi’s goal. Fucking ridiculous behaviour, again, from the Scotsman. I had not seen Adams’ violence mentioned before so hopefully, having been alerted, the offence can be properly looked at and action taken.

For those of us with leisure to burn this Sunday a day of TV or streamed football stretches out, for those of you working and studying may your industry be rewarded.

Opening picture by an excellent NI photographer Paul Moane @paulmoane


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64 comments on “Arsenal: Riding the Range, Poking Stoke

  1. Well, despite being a bunch of utter scumbags for 96 minutes, Spurs could not convince the ref to reward their all their diving attempts with a penalty.
    Mikitarian got streatchered off after a Danny Rose ‘challenge’, the boy does this far too often to be accidental.
    I don’t wish Miki badly, but if he is out for a number of weeks, it will really damage Utd’s prospects, such as they already are.

    Utd fans booed when Fellaini was being subbed on! And I thought they knew nothing at all about football.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely vid Eduardo.

    I like the way the video refereeing decisions are shown live in both cricket and rugby, it involves the fans.

    Is this likely in football? I doubt it given the manner in which the authorities view the paying customer

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Shame the BFG and Wele are not 100% ready to come back.
    I do expect the Boss to rotate for Everton away, they will represent a physical challenge similar to Stoke with the big man lukaku up front as a battering ram and EFC players working off him for loose balls and scraps.

    Cech or Ospina.
    Bellerin, Gabriel, Kos, Monreal or Gibbs.
    I do think Ramsey will get a game so it’s him plus Coq and maybe ElNeny.
    Theo, Ox, Giroud.
    Possible rests for Alexis, Ozil Xhaka and Iwobi who could be subs from the bench.

    We have to take Everton’s challenge as equally difficult as City’s will be. Koeman will have them fighting at the very least, as they wont match our lads for football quality.


  4. Firmly believe that if today’s game game was anywhere but OT, Spurs would have got away with most of the things they set out to do, could see Rose getting a pen for that at our ground.
    But, yes, Rose does have a propensity to injure very talented players……ok he got booked this time, but such a player should be receiving more cards than he does.
    But it seems the ref didn’t buy much of their tricks today…..why can’t other refs take the same approach?
    Pochettino is certainly in touch with his inner Pulis


  5. There may be a reason why football is the one major ( probably the biggest ) professional game on the plant chooses to avoid using technology to ensure decisions are as correct as possible Raddy.

    I just can’t imagine what it might be.

    if there is a “mastermind” determined to cause X or Y result they are crap in their efforts


  6. We’re a long way from the EPL being decided by head-to-head (3-0! ). But, to be fair, (why – Ed?) they were still suffering from the malign influence of Mou when this happened.


  7. Positively Arsenal ‏@Blackburngeorge 52m52 minutes ago
    Managers that don’t like Arsene
    Pullis Sam Hughes Jose
    Those that do
    Pep Klopp Billic Ranieri
    See the similarity with the Fans ?
    Good v evil


  8. Mason, as incompetent as he may be, did Arsenal a favor by bringing the play back for another drop ball. Had he allowed the play to continue and Arsenal scored, the talking heads in the British media would’ve decried Arsenal players as cheaters of the highest order, if the FA Cup tie vs Sheffield United of 1999 is anything to go by.

    The scenario in which Arsenal overcome a soft pen and a dirty limb stamping Charlie Adam on their way to a convincing win, is one I very much prefer.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Good morning, football loving PA peeps!


  10. Hello, Big Raddish [@7:57] – good to see your video comment – and I agree with you.


  11. New post up


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