Arsenal: A 98 Claret – unique vintage


Good afternoon Positives,

Got your breath back yet ?

Nor have I – What an afternoon !

Of the game itself ? In contrast to a number of recent games we started well, brisk, with sharp passing and movement and throughout the first half it seemed just a matter of ‘when’ we would crack the Burnley defence and certainly not ‘if’. Ozil looked fitter and more mobile today than he has been in months and Iwobi’s touch on the ball was superb at times. Fair play to our visitors, they did more than put ten men behind the ball but we were clearly a yard faster than them and a split second quicker. They clung on, no doubt slightly relieved to trot into the dressing room still even.

A predictable first half then gave me no clue as to the tumult that was to follow. There was not even a small cloud nor the beat of a butterfly’s wing to alert me to the 45 53 minutes of imminent uproar, to enjoy, endure and finally emerge from bruised but triumphant. It was a game to savour, but only with hindsight. To live through it was to tour the circles of footballing Hell.

The second half had so many pivotal incidents, an almost unique catalogue of controversy and contortion. You could sense after 50+ minutes, and still with no goal, we were beginning to get a bit more desperate, and not in bad way. Events unfolded!

First, we had the Mustafi “penalty”, and then we had the Mustafi goal. A good finish from the influential German and, in the context of the game, what should have been the decisive strike. Burnley’s heads dropped. The visitors appalling away record ( P9 L8 D1) heading for another frustrated notch BUT NO! Within five minutes we had a third twist of the sunlit drama;

Granit, Granit, Granit, Granit, ……………Granit! You can’t do that, you just can’t, without risking the red. My little Swiss chum, the officials have their eye on you. I know Mr Wenger will be discussing the matter with you and your parents this week.

From smoothly controlling the game with a deserved lead we were firmly on the back foot from the 65th minute calamity. The light blues clearly felt they could get something and it required a solid defensive performance hold them at bay. But we did. They never really opened us up. Kosc always had a boot in or Monreal his head in the way, Petr calmed the scene. By the time we got to the 90th minute , and even with 7 minutes added time to suffer, I thought we had the points, a scruffy 1-0.

BUT NO! Two penalties in time added on. Two for goodness sake. Le Coq clipping Barnes’ knee, much to the apparent mortification of Mr Wenger, then Mee’s studs connecting with our French defender’s temple. Both correctly awarded by Moss, both despatched by shots straight down the middle of the goal, with the Chilean’s panenka the work of an artist very sure of his brush strokes.

Of our players?  I thought Ramsey was outstanding. the Welshman had been playing well but the departure of Xhaka called for him to put in a decisive performance in midfield, to be the BIG player, and he put in that work. At the front Sanchez had a good afternoon even by his own exacting standard. As referred to above his slotting the winner in the 98th minute in such an important game is the work of a professional with no fear – magnificent.

Of the opposition ? The game ended with Dyche frothing at the mouth, and I admit I felt just a twinge of pity for the ( by then) ashen faced Burnley supremo, so close on two occasions this season, but no cigar at all. He must dream of Laurent Koscielny, poor man.

I am calm again now.

So on to Cup glory on the South Coast after a pleasant week of footballing inactivity. Enjoy the remainder of your Sunday.

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216 comments on “Arsenal: A 98 Claret – unique vintage

  1. Talking of cold blooded money men the reported reduction in Sky subscriber numbers doe not seem to have deterred Keith Rupert Murdoch from snapping up the bits of Sky that he does not already own for a £11bn just before Christmas.

    My guess is that technology rather than referees is bending the business model of subscriber TV, bound to happen. It is also a bit dull. The Euro/Us market is saturated and too pricey. Id probably be telling football clubs that subscriber numbers we down if I were Sky and BT too. Be interesting to know what the picture is China in take up growth. NFL is taking a hammering too I hear and they have got no end of referees and video.


  2. True. Apparently Murdoch made a saving of 2bn on that deal following brexit. Which might explain his media’s coverage of that story? Nice work if you can get it!

    It’s also true that two days after a victory that people who follow an nfl team will not need to attempt a defence of the officials with people who perfectly understand and appreciate how hard it is to be a good official.


  3. Crikey, Finsbury, you are well ahead of the pack!

    This ‘exclusive’ only came out today, and already has been consigned to the bin by ManYoo:

    “Manchester United [Mike Keegan] are seriously considering expanding the Old Trafford capacity to a staggering 88,000.

    The increase by more than 12,000 would be likely to start with an extra 7,500 seats in the Sir Bobby Charlton stand, formerly known as the main stand.

    Previously, the railway line at the back of the structure meant expansion would require a costly tunnel and the demolition of a number of houses. Advances in technology, however, mean this may no longer be an issue.”

    There was more relating to building another 300 disabled seats and moving the displaced 2,600 seat holders elsewhere but I did not read any more.

    Finsbury, I very much enjoy chatting to anicoll and others on here, but it seems you are going to keep challenging everything I say — so I will leave you to it.


  4. I work in the industry so that’s how I knew it wasn’t happening.
    If you consider that information to be a challenge then it is unfortunate that the information offended you.

    I wholeheartedly apologise for providing said information.


  5. I guess that I tried to imply that without brexit that the Utd build/project might have gone ahead!


  6. I want a rugged contest at Anfield tonight – extra time – penalties and the Saints exhausted before the FA Cup 4th round

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Southampton playing with little bit handbrake but at 1-0 up on aggregate it might be enough.


  8. But for some woeful finishing the Saints should be 2 up so far – Fraser not had one save to make


  9. It’s not totally lethargic but if you didn’t already know you’d never realise there is an Cup Final at Wembley at stake.


  10. Could be nicely set up for energy draining extra time here as Loserpool have left it late to level. 15 mins to go.


  11. Arsenal stabbed in the back again by that disgraceful excuse for a human being Martin Atkinson.

    A clear dive for Origi and the totally incompetent Northern clot failed to point to the spot and put the visiting side through an exhausting further 30 minutes.

    I think questions need to be asked about this so called Saints “victory” over two legs.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Gary Lineker ‏@GaryLineker 6 Nov 2013
    I like Klopp, he’s very clever, but he’s no Wenger.


  13. 1 win is 6 games for liverpool, and that was against plymouth, not klopp’s team clearly,

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Sir Jenkinson ‏@theEpicGooner 14h14 hours ago
    Sir Jenkinson Retweeted Mirror Football
    Good to see that you confirm yourself as an Anti-Arsenal newspaper.

    Mirror FootballVerified account@MirrorFootball
    1) Bad news – Wenger might not be able to see Arsenal’s latest Chelsea defeat from inside Stamford Bridge #AFC #CFC


  15. Dinklage ‏@Dinklage_Afc 2h2 hours ago
    1 league cup in eleven years for Liverpool… but you won’t hear a peep coz they’re not Arsenal.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Mr BOOM Klopp not having a very good run for a Genius is he. Still, he is engaging and has the ‘Breath of fresh air’ factor at the moment.

    Liked by 1 person

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