Arsenal: Dial M for Meltdown

large_psycho_blu-ray_5Good morning Positive Arsenal fans,

A brief review of yesterday’s painful events this morning. I am sure that most of you have endured a downbeat Sunday evening and Monday morning, as the result of yesterday’s game lapped at the edges of our consciousness. I know my past sixteen hours have seen evidence of most of the symptomatic signs of upset; anhedonia, irritability, loss of confidence, diminished appetite, disrupted sleep pattern, difficulty in concentrating, and patchy memory. Yes fellow Positives the symptoms still come, despite my long experience of being stung by the malicious insect of footballing misfortune. The feeling, at this stage, I cannot intellectualise away. Later in the week I shall feel better, but not today.

I feel I should discuss the game as that is in my job specification at PA.

First half good, excellent early goal, may have got a second, matched Citeh all over the park, sound defensively, the home side lively but Pep clearly frustrated and on the edge of panic. I could see, as Mr Atkinson led the players off at HT, a three point haul from the game as entirely feasible.

Second half ? Well I am afraid to say we managed to drag up another grimly awful second half effort, very similar I thought to that we produced at Trafford Park a few weeks back. Now I admit the equaliser was a set back, a very soft goal whether it was onside or offside, and to some extent that may explain a jolt to the collective Arsenal system. But we have had setbacks and lost goals all season. A goal against us does not explain a fractured display over the next 45 minutes in which passes went astray, possession was surrendered tamely and the impression was given that the players who had been so competent in the first half had been replaced by a bunch of chaps who had never played together before. Did we ever really threaten Bravo’s goal in the second half ? ( Shakes head and puffs out cheeks) The outcome of our disjointed second half display was inevitable. I would not mind if we had been played off the park by a Citeh side at their best. The home side did not even adopt the “aggressive” Everton approach. I thought the opposition were distinctly ordinary.

It is neither my style nor the purpose of this blog to apportion blame or to allocate guilt. I think we can rely on others to do that. I suspect the players, manager and coaches travelling home last night felt as disappointed as we do. They know that they did not perform as they can do, and have done on so many important games this season. It must be for the players to look into themselves, and the manager and coaches to work hard to ensure our next game against the Baggies on Boxing Day is 95 minutes of sustained good football.

If there was a simple answer to avoiding our second half syndrome then it would have been erased long ago.

Anyway that is my five-penneth. You will get no meltdown  or outrage on here. I suspect it will be quiet on here today but I will be in and out with bits and pieces. Please enjoy your week in the run up to Christmas and the day itself.



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77 comments on “Arsenal: Dial M for Meltdown

  1. anyone see the sky chart about Arsenal’s last 21 away games v the current top 6, we had 0 wins, 7 draws, and 14 defeats, so including the 2 away games so far this season, that leaves 19 away games against 5 teams, so the past four seasons, but wait, 5 teams, 4 seasons, 19 games, something does not add up, what could it be, surely there is not a missing game, and if there is a missing game, what could the result be, has to have been a defeat or a draw, surely, could not have been a win, no way, sky would never slant the data, they don’t have an agenda.

    now I thought that the missing game is our 2-0 win at man city in 14/15 but checking out results v the current top 6 over the last 4 seasons, – 12/13. 13/14, 14/15, 15/16, and the current season 16/17 and what would you know, the man city result would be included in those results, so what else have SKY misled us about, well in fact if we go with their 21 games it is in fact 2 wins for Arsenal, and if we make it the full 22 games, to cover the full previous 4 seasons its 3 wins as I have noticed that we beat liverpool 2-0 away in 12/13 and spurs 1-0 away in 13/14 .

    so should that 21 game list actually read

    won 3, drew 7, lost 11 and not the
    won 0, drew 7, lost 14

    i have not checked the draws, so even the 7 could be wrong too from sky, but of course the malcontents will re-post the false stats from sky,

    by the way am I doing sky a disservice, is the picture I’ve seen all over twitter today actually a sky stat picture, or has a wob faked up the real one sky put up.


  2. FT: everton 0-1 liverpool

    two rounds of league fixtures where every single result went against arsenal, don’t know if I have ever seen that happen before.


  3. Is it too late to salvage vacuous, dishonest press?
    Date published: Monday 19th December 2016 10:38

    The Sunday Supplement ‘Neville Special’ conducted between Gary Neville and four journalists, as a result of all that rather tediously elongated Loris Karius business, was a bit of an odd affair.

    Anyone hoping Red Nev might have come armed with a fully-formed critique of the modern football press, with which to tear a strip off Martin, Henry, Ollie and Ash, were to be disappointed. Rather, he seemed a little subdued by the assembled press heavyweights.

    Neville’s main thrust was a good one: there is too much content, produced too quickly and much of it is thoughtless space filler. I don’t think anyone could disagree with that, though the ‘the boys’, while prepared to broadly acknowledge the problem, were not overly enthusiastic in endorsing that viewpoint in any detail.

    The 400lb gorilla in the room, when discussing the state of British press coverage of football on paper and especially digitally, is this: It might be largely shallow, idiotic nonsense, but it’s popular. Although paper sales are declining, The Sun still sells around three million; the Mail is one of the most popular newspaper websites on earth. We have so many national newspapers for a small island. The guff isn’t putting people off.

    Trying to defend the existence of the shallow, facile nonsense that makes up an ever-increasing acreage of football newspaper websites in particular, is impossible on any grounds other than popularity. Consequently, in doing that, you are saying that your audience is, in large measure, also shallow and facile. An audience happy to be dumbed down and culturally anesthetized with photos of footballers’ wives in bikinis, footballers in cars, footballers’ tattoos, footballers’ haircuts, or footballers shopping, or just walking along a pavement wearing jeans. This isn’t news. It isn’t entertainment.

    The sheer volume of time and effort committed to such a huge amount of worthless, trite nonsense beggars belief. It is a waste of the energies of those who create it, and of those who consume it. And, on a purely practical note, they all take so long to load. It’s the same with local newspaper websites. Choked with advertising and videos, you might as well go and put the kettle on while the whole thing loads and settles down.

    Has this explosion happened because there are simply more punters for the vacuous nonsense? Or does a culture of pictures and witless accompanying text create a destructive but self-perpetuating spiral downwards? That’s an important question to answer.

    The problem with someone writing about this, is that it immediately sounds egotistical and self-regarding. The writer is pitching themselves on the side of the clever v the stupid, risking sounding like a pompous arse in the court of public opinion. But surely you don’t need to be the intellectual hybrid of Wittgenstein and Will Self to be critical of this lowest of the low stuff. To improve your mind is to improve your life. Wanting content to have some heft isn’t snooty. Wanting it to be accurate and not some flavour of fiction doesn’t make you a snob.

    The widespread dumbing down of public discourse to such an extent that, in football, and in everyday life, facts don’t matter, truths don’t matter, analysis and nuanced thought doesn’t matter, but pictures of a footballer’s house really do (even if you get facts wrong about it), has to be a matter of concern for anyone who does not want to live in a society where stupid is lauded as the new intelligent, and intelligence is mistrusted as elitism.

    It’s no good to suggest, as Martin Samuel did, that you’ve just got to know where to go for the good stuff and ignore the rest, because the good stuff doesn’t exist in a vacuum. When the good stuff is merely a tiny island surrounded by raging seas of crapulous bilge, it’s sulphurous waters lap on that island’s shores and threaten to overwhelm at any moment.

    Because the sheer volume of output is bewildering. I tried counting the number of football ‘stories’ uploaded in the last 24 hours on eight newspaper websites, as I write this on Sunday evening. I gave up after 500. Some of them seemed to be posted twice. It’s a pure guess, but across those websites there must be around 1,000 pieces published in just in 24 hours, some a few hundred words long, most a lot less. There is no virtue in this blizzard, rather the small minority of quality pieces in the major publications are lost in the digital fog.

    The Sunday Supplement journalists often seem to pretend this ceaseless river of soccer slurry doesn’t really exist and that their profession is mostly well-written, in-depth, thoughtful features, full of research and perception, rather than a dozen pictures of Leicester City players walking to a club party, or just some clickbait where small unimportant things are magnified, outright falsehoods passed off as truths, banalities offered as entertainment, not to mention opinion being passed off, and given the same credence, as fact.

    It’s as though all those horrible, misleading stories about Raheem Sterling hadn’t ever been published in their noble papers and that those type of stories are not only common, but are now an important strand in the warp and weft of modern newspaper media, as they whip up love-hate relationships with modern footballers as part of the ‘entertainment’.

    Obviously, there are great writers in the press, and thank God for that. I think we all know who they are, but the pieces by stellar talents like Rory Smith, Sid Lowe, David Conn, Daniel Taylor and more, are shrivelling as a percentage of the overall newspaper output, as the dark shadow of the tsunami of trivia and rank dumb nonsense grows ever higher and wider. The day can’t be far away when news is just replaced with an SEO-honed URL, for that is all some output is created for. Volume of traffic has replaced volume of wisdom. This can’t be good.

    Does it matter? After all, it’s just tomorrow’s chip paper, or the next browsing history deletion.

    Yes it does. It is a pox that, drip by sour, gonorrheal drip, alters the public consciousness. So much so that even if you want to ignore it, you can’t, because everything you come into contact with is already infected by it.

    It becomes harder and harder not to subconsciously slide down the glacier of idiocy towards the valley of ignorance, and before you know it you’re wasting brain cells reading about Memphis Depay’s latest motor vehicle purchase. That’s why we need to speak out against it, and that’s probably why Mediawatch is the most popular page on this website.

    But not only do we need to call out the vacuous, we need to consciously and publicly celebrate the intelligent, perceptive, interesting, funny, witty and stimulating. It is the bulwark against the mainstream tide of dumb, because, right now, there’s no divorce for any of us from the poison of the low grade, air-head, outright dishonest stupidity, which has become the dominant force in much of the press.

    If we’re not careful, it’ll be the ruin of us all. And that’s why it matters, because right now, in the words of Ronnie James Dio, it feels like it’s over, it’s done, the end is begun. If you listen to fools, the mob rules.

    John Nicholson

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Eduardo

    Interesting read,that. Especially liked, ‘So much so that even if you want to ignore it, you can’t, because everything you come into contact with is already infected by it.’

    That is closely related to my excuse as to why I can’t be more stoical or plain normal around defeats : even if I pull the digital plug, I know what is out there; as a game unfolds, even if I don’t look at twitter, I’ve no doubt how people are acting and reacting. Thierry; Neville; the Motd crew; aftv; all of it.

    I think that stuff has, over the years, ended up making any defeat harrowing as opposed to just being a defeat. Not only do you have to worry about any loss of points, victory is needed to prevent all the shit from being written and said. That creates a pretty insane need for victory when defeat is so easy.

    There’s a lot more to it than that, and I know I’m responsible for my own state of mind, but I do think you have to be remarkable not to be affected/infected by the full context games are played in and general reaction to them.

    I’m not sure I had a single day of football woe in my first ten years of supporting. Now a bloody draw can do it!

    Again, that’s mostly me. The kid who was very happy, if not delighted, watching his video of 91 for 91, over and over, with Limpars lob, in a year we finished fourth or sixth or something, has vanished.

    Maybe that sort of thing is still possible, for young and old, but it must be extremely difficult within the current culture.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Grasshopper,

    I have stumbled into the footballing equivalent of mindfulness – enjoy the moment. I do not concern myself with what has gone before and is unchangeable, or that which is unknown and which I cannot control.

    It may be because I have a friend who is a Leeds supporter that such benefit of perspective has been granted to me.


  6. I think my advantage relating to mainstream and social media is I could not give two hoots what Henry Winter, Robbie Savage or Bob the Blogger and his minions think about Arsenal. Whether it is abusive or it is praise their opinion is nothing to me.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Our next game is the Boxing Day fixture against WBA, a 3 o’clock start which should please the traditionalists. It is a game we might reasonably expect to win: home advantage and hosting a side that sit 11 points behind us. Nevertheless, however good the display, I fear that an Arsenal win can only really be seen as papering over the cracks, cracks that were suddenly all too visible when first Clattenburg and then Atkinson officiated in a way that bore scant resemblance to the actual rules of the game – but more of that anon. In our last two games we failed to score all the chances that fell our way. Despite scoring first on both occasions, we eventually lost the battle for the midfield and conceded four goals that might have been prevented. Two average second half performances away from home in the space of five days at venues where we have tasted success in recent times. No matter that key players were injured (there is an argument that says that Cazorla, Ramsey, Mustafi and Welbeck would all be in the strongest team), and no matter that in the previous fortnight the team had played imperious football to find themselves briefly top of the league and outpointing PSG in the Champions’ League group, the stark truth of the City game was that any previous victory was chimerical and that any further success will only be postponing the day where once again the team fails to win.

    And papering over the cracks is of course what any win does. There are remarkably few games when the opposition doesn’t have at least two chances to score, few games where the ball could (but doesn’t) fall kindly into any striker’s path, few games when a defender could be blown for a penalty area nudge. And, always, always, many games when our forwards hit the woodwork, have shots scrambled off the line, have penalty claims denied. Football is a game of skill and effort, but also a game when fortune can smile more kindly on one team than another. One makes one’s own luck, of course, except that sometimes one doesn’t and sometimes one can’t. Even a three-nil win could sometimes so easily go the other way should if, buts and maybes have ruled the roost that afternoon. We should always remember when tempted to celebrate that it could all have been so very different – that the cracks were there waiting all the time. And we might also reflect that a win for The Arsenal suggests that the referees are all fair and fine and dandy, and that the Premier League does not go out of its way to claim that the success of any particular team is vital to its own success, and that there is a place in England for skilful and aesthetically pleasing football.

    And several wins in a row (I think we put together a run of nine earlier this season) papers over cracks in the fan base too. Public shows of support and unified singing of ‘by far the greatest team’ swiftly disappear when games aren’t won. Then we see whining and worse. We see abuse directed at fan and player alike. We see the manager and owner all but hung, drawn and quartered. We see violent and threatening behaviour. We are reminded that football has often attracted a hooligan element, that even our own club plays host to some decidedly dodgy individuals. And we remember that Arsenal Fan TV is in its element when points are lost. Wins just paper over these cracks – the creepy crawlies under the stone are always there.
    And even a single win papers over cracks for me too. When we win the world seems a finer place, my loved ones more lovely, the dog truly my best friend. There seems some point to everything. I feel, for a while, truly blessed. But when we lose I find no fun in anything and fault everywhere I look. I am reminded most literally of the pointlessness of it all. The paper cover is removed and I see deep into the crack of doom. I see the eternal footman snicker. And, to my shame, I am afraid.

    So come Boxing Day afternoon does it really matter what happens? Will the stark light of reality shine on all our doings, or will the pretty paper lantern of a glorious win allow us a cup of smoking bishop and reflect that after all things are not that bad after all. I think at this time of year especially I shall hope for all the paper I can find, and hope too that enough of us will join together to keep the cracks at bay for just a little while longer.

    Liked by 5 people

  8. “There is a crack in everything.That’s how the light gets in.”

    Liked by 1 person

  9. AFTV put the crack in crackpot

    Liked by 4 people

  10. David ‏@Melkyor_Arsenal 1h1 hour ago
    They went after Giroud, then Theo, then Ox, then, Jenko, then Ramsey and now Ozil. But they called themselves fans. Wankers more probably.

    only thing wrong in that tweet is the order of their targets it was more like they went after

    Ramsey, then Giroud, then Ramsey, then Theo, then Ramsey, then Ox, then Ramsey, then Jenks, then Ramsey, and now Ozil, with Ramsey next.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. I think its telling of how little actual football knowledge the malcontents have when they mistake Ozil’s languid style of play, with actual laziness, the fact that Ozil’s stats for km’s run in each game is always up there in our top 3 flies in the face of all this lazy nonsense.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Tim Stillman ‏@Stillberto Dec 4
    Imagine what Ronald Koeman’s face looks like in the back of a spoon.

    surely its the same


  13. That is just very very odd

    Liked by 1 person

  14. there was always something odd about Jonjo Shelvey

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Paddy Power ‏@paddypower 4h4 hours ago
    Man Utd closing in on £38m deal for Benfica’s Victor Lindelöf.

    Time for #MUFC fans to watch a YouTube vid & say you’ve ‘always rated him’.


  16. Real Madrid midfielder James Rodriguez is reported to be in Colombia to obtain a UK work permit, ahead of a january transfer to a bpl club. Chelsea, Man Utd and Arsenal all being linked with him. Would he be a good fit for our wide left midfield role.


  17. on the James Rodrigues transfer, latest reports suggest he is oscar’s replacement at cfc


  18. Media bias against Arsenal is so obvious.
    For instance sky sports claiming that we have won only 3 times in 21 matches against top 6 sides is such ridiculous and false that i cant stop my laugh on sky journalists.I can recall from my memory the following victories against top6 during last 3 years.

    Arsenal 2-1 Liverpool 2014/15
    City 0-2 Arseanl 2014/15
    ARsenal 4-1 Liverpool 2014/15
    Spurs 0-1Atsenal 2013^14
    Arsenal 3-0 United 2015/16
    Leicester 2-5 Arsenal 2015/16
    Arsenal 2-1 Leicester 2015/16

    It is 7 wins against the top 4 /5 sides of England.I have not taken Everon in the above.
    Everton finishec in the top 6 atleast once in the last 3 years and we have 2/3 wins against them also.
    So obvious bias against Arsenal is there for everyone’ to see.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Correction

    Arsenal 2-0 Liverpool 2013/14 instead of

    Arsenal 2-1 Liverpool 2014/15


  20. rosicky I think sky are saying we won 0 from 21 away games against current top 6, and I posted yesterday that this is actually a lie, and its 3 from 21, and 11 losses and not the 14 they say, also pointed out that the cut off point was 21 games, which leaves out a win the the 22nd game


  21. on the table I posted above about days off between games over christmas, Chelsea have the longest combined rest days of any club, and they have back to back home games and their third game is also in london.


  22. FK³ ‏@fkhanage 24m24 minutes ago
    “Some Arsenal fans support their opinions and views more than the club.” Bravo, @RorySmith.


  23. ah bless AFTV upset about the negativity towards them in the last few days, hypocrites the lot of them.


  24. Arsenal Fixture News ‏@AFCFixtureNews 13h13 hours ago
    Neil Swarbrick has been appointed as the referee for the Boxing Day clash at home to West Bromwich Albion.


  25. New post up


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