Arsenal: The Abandoned Orphan of Defeat


Good Morning Positive Arsenal fans,

Or at least any of you with the energy to raise your head from the pillow and toward the internet after being kept awake by the squalling brat of defeat dumped on our collective footballing doorstep after 13 minutes last night. The nameless little bundle of noise and dribbling misery is quiet now, finally exhausted after bawling its lungs out all night. Inconsolable.

I have looked closely at the mite’s features and it reminds me of someone, but I cannot put my finger on the possible parentage ….. I am sure we all have ideas as to who is responsible ?

Of the game itself if I were structuring the match report like the action the first 300 words today would be random words and names, …. Curses, poor spelling, ……… Crossing out, Yelps of horror and groans of mighty despair,…………. culminating in my banging my head on the keyboard at Nacho’s insanely poor tumble. We all saw it and we know, and Arsene knows, and every player knows it was a bit of a shambles. Fair play to the Hornets though, they played their part with the custard pie that we ran into time after time.

Of the second half of the match review I am able to provide a smoother and organised writing performance, our players unrecognisable from just a few minutes before. I could even go so far as to say some of our players performed “well” in that second portion of the game. Alex Iwobi, in a 50th appearance I hope he forgets about very quickly, being the most obvious Arsenal player who showed us what he can do with the ball. Ultimately though the uplift of that improved effort, and the lifeline goal with MORE than half an hour to go, would lead to a fractured closing sentence of frustration. As occurred in the quarter final last season having allowed Watford a lead we just did not have the guile to get enough goals to retrieve the game. So near as Lucas’ late rocket hammered the bar, but so, so far. Lucas is another man whose late entry exonerates him from responsibility for the evening’s events. We were not, in my opinion, “unlucky” to lose. We were conceivably unlucky not to get a point, but that is as far as my footballing generosity will extend today.

Is it the midweek evening games, is it the rain, or the floodlights ? Whatever it is while last night did not finally torpedo our Premier League ambitions ( thanks to Liverpool and Sunlun) it put a further hole in the vessel, and the water is rising.

Of our visitors a hugely welcome result for under pressure manager Mazzarri whose touchline ranting suggests a man “on the edge”. Of their players Gomes had a good game. One of those large, hard-to-miss keepers who is either very good, or very, very bad and last night he shone. Janmaat also looks about five times the player who fled from Tyneside last season.

Right then, that is me just about done this morning. The little child is gently waking up and cooing happily in his or her cot (I have not looked yet but the smell suggests I should). I shall feed and nurture the little person over the next four days in order that by Saturday lunchtime my new charge  will be fit and able to take the field at the Bridge of Stamford, and perform as they are required to from 12.30 onwards to 2.30, with no lapses.

Enjoy your Wednesday and chin up.


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132 comments on “Arsenal: The Abandoned Orphan of Defeat

  1. passenal

    Good, if sad, post. I don’t know how I’d feel if I was seeing the same things I see at home up close in the flesh. Perhaps the stadium experience would cancel some of it out but in other ways it must surely be heightened.

    Anyway, though I’m in a similar boat, I don’t like hearing of other fans who have reached that point.

    My suggestion, though I’d bet you do this naturally, is to focus in on the next game. Ridiculous as our treatment from refs is, there’s always a chance in an individual game of beating our opponents and them for sweet victory.

    I still haven’t yet found a way of cutting out the intense bad feeling on the day and for a while after if they’ve screwed us over but it is a way of allowing me to reset and look forward to the next match.

    I also cultivate the idea that somewhere, somehow it will, or there’s the possibility it will, catch up with them, even if only in their consciences.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Speaking about bias, I actually wonder if it more of a subconscious behavior of the referees rather than being intentionally biased.

    I’d like to think that the referees are unbiased but it is hard to believe that they are when watching the way decisions are given. However for their benefit I would like to consider that they don’t intend to be unbiased. It is more of a subconscious behavior due to numerous factors.

    For example, many teenagers desire to be independent and different. But in truth due to an overload of media and marketing campaigns most of them end up developing the same habits and styles. They want to be different but subconsciously are conditioned to behave in a certain way to show that they are different.

    I wonder if a similar situation affects referees in a media dominated world. After all, it actually affects all of us to some extent or the other. With the media, pundits, blogs etc. all harping about Arsenal being soft, not liking hard tackles, encouraging other teams to be physical, etc. I somehow feel that at some subconscious level this affects referees decisions.

    Decisions are often taken in split seconds and need experience and instinct to get right. If this is clouded due to external factors which they see and hear about every day, I’m sure that in many cases especially 50:50 ones their decision making will often go against Arsenal.

    It may however not be intentional.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. *don’t intend to be biased.


  4. Based on the data the ref bias is rooted in the origin of the PGMO. From the words of the founders and in the corporate documents (see my blog and the posts of NOTH) it was setup so the refs could become permanent employees and earn as much or proportionately as much PL footballers. Refs were removed from the oversight of the FA and in reality are accountable to their paymasters the Premier League. It is become clearer everyday the PL is not concerned with fair play but in building itself as a financial mammoth serving the big moneyed clubs. AFC is #4 in the moneyed clubs and furthermore does not believe in throwing around money to achieve dominance in the League. In this setup refs have learnt from their leader Mr Riley, that to become powerful and well renumerated, one must at minimum favor the biggest clubs and there is little downside in penalizing AFC. It is clear from the data on Penalties-For and Against that AFC is the least favored club in the top-4 by a wide margin. To date, I have seen no credible, verfiable alternative to my findings.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Hard to argue with that Shotta. Though I would say, in the last two seasons, the refs have massively favoured Leicester last season, and Tottenham this, both below us in the money league….not sure what this means, maybe their little illusion to us that it is not really about money


  6. @finsbury
    I usually listen to ‘The Gooner Ramble’ regularly mainly because of Clive Palmer, who IMO is one of the best player analysts around. When he is not on there it normally collapses into a joint rant of childish conspiracy theories with out a shred of evidence when challenged the cannot corroborate anything they say. The headline for the latest pod just sounds so xenophobic it pricked me so much so that i could not listen.
    Some of the contributors have such a high opinion of their opinions the think they are speaking from experience .I have on a few occasions told them to wind their necks in .

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Difficult to believe we are playing Chelsea tomorrow

    I imagine I will be the only one watching

    I’ll do my best


  8. And returning to yesterday afternoon’s conversation Fins

    Your initial claim was Debuchy’s career was ended by two fouls

    Not two fouls – one foul perhaps though why a shoulder dislocation should end a footballer’s career I don’t know – but we can deal with that later

    One foul

    I went to the trouble of extracting the film of the original ankle injury. As the Frenchman crumpled to the deck in front of me I remember it vividly – one minute fit – the next torn ankle ligaments – not a Citeh player for five yards in any direction

    Unlucky – an accident

    But no – you say the torn ankle ligaments were the result of a previous foul

    Where ? When did that foul happen ? What damage did this foul do to Debuchy’s ankle ? Why, at the time was there not a mention of the “foul” when the player, the club, the manager, were discussing the misfortune?


  9. Thanks Andrew, Like I wrote above Andrew I am more then willing and happy to give you the second injury to have not been not caused by a hack if you desire, not a problem for me!

    I wondered why there’s been no comment about the right back before him who suffered two broken legs in challenges that weren’t called but then I realised that’s because there is no need.

    So we are agreed then. Glad that’s sorted:
    Three serious injuries caused by fouls not called.

    And that is just the record for RBs in recent years! It’s hilarious!!


    Liked by 1 person

  10. Arsenal have submitted their updated Premier League squad for the remainder of the season, with January signing Cohen Bramall amongst three youngsters added to the Under-21 list.

    Goalkeeper Alex Crean and defender Zech Medley have also been added, while Carl Jenkinson is named on the senior list despite having been left out of the club’s Champions League squad.

    All of the senior loanees- Wojciech Szczesny, Jack Wilshere, Joel Campbell, Takuma Asano and Matt Macey- have been omitted but the U21 players on temporary transfer have been included.

    Arsenal’s Premier League squad

    Senior list

    Gabriel, Santi Cazorla, Petr Cech, Francis Coquelin*, Mathieu Debuchy, Mohamed Elneny, Kieran Gibbs, Olivier Giroud, Carl Jenkinson*, Laurent Koscielny, Emiliano Martinez*, Per Mertesacker, Nacho Monreal, Shkodran Mustafi, David Ospina, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain*, Mesut Ozil, Lucas Perez, Aaron Ramsey*, Alexis Sanchez, Yaya Sanogo, Theo Walcott*, Danny Welbeck*, Granit Xhaka.

    *= homegrown

    U21 list

    Chuba Akpom, Daniel Ballard, Jay Beckford, Hector Bellerin, Ismael Bennacer, Josh Benson, Krystian Bielik, Marc Bola, Tolaji Bola, Cohen Bramall, Robbie Burton, Calum Chambers, Alex Crean, Dan Crowley, Kristopher Da Graca, Josh Dasilva, Vlad Dragomir, Aaron Eyoma, Yassin Fortune, Charlie Gilmour, Kaylen Hinds, Rob Holding, Ryan Huddart, Deyan Iliev, Alex Iwobi, Chiori Johnson, Glen Kamara, Hugo Keto, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Donyell Malen, Stephy Mavididi, Marcus McGuane, Zech Medley, Tafari Moore, Savvas Mourgos, Reiss Nelson, Eddie Nketiah, Kelechi Nwakali, Stefan O’Connor, Joseph Olowu, Tobi Omole, Jordi Osei-Tutu, Kostas Pileas, Julio Pleguezuelo, Jeff Reine-Adelaide, Ben Sheaf, Emile Smith-Rowe, Nathan Tella, Dominic Thompson, Jon Toral, Nathan Tormey, Joao Virginia, Chris Willock, Joe Willock, Gedion Zelalem

    Posted in Uncategorized on February 2, 2017 by Jeorge Bird. Leave a comment


  11. an article from the new your times that flies in the face of those wob’s who say AW is stubborn and stuck in the past

    How Arsenal and Arsène Wenger Bought Into Analytics

    By RORY SMITH FEB. 3, 2017

    Arsenal officials had to win over Manager Arsène Wenger before purchasing StatDNA outright. Credit Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC, via Getty Images
    Neither Marouane Chamakh nor Park Chu-Young occupies a particularly prominent place in Arsenal’s history. The former, a dilettante Moroccan striker, spent three years at the club after joining in 2010. He scored only 14 goals, was packed off on loan to West Ham United, and then released to Crystal Palace.

    Park, a South Korean forward who arrived in London a year later, fared even worse. He had joined on transfer deadline day 2011, a surprise, last-minute capture from Monaco. But he never quite lived up to the drama of his arrival: In two years, Park played just seven times, and scored only once. He, too, went out on loan, and was then cut loose.

    Both players left Arsenal unwept and unsung; if fans recall their names at all, it is only as they reel through the list of their club’s missteps in the transfer market, that cathartic process of reciting regrets at all those players signed and all that money spent for barely any reward at all.

    Yet for all that Chamakh and Park failed to do at Arsenal, their effect since their departure has been considerably more lasting. In one light, in fact, it is possible to see these two most forgettable players from Arsenal’s past as leading characters in the club’s attempts to chart its future. More significant, they played a key role in teaching Arsène Wenger, that oldest of managerial dogs, the most cutting edge of tricks.

    Toward the end of Park’s first season at Arsenal, the 2011-12 campaign, two of the club’s executives approached Wenger, the team’s seemingly immovable manager, with a proposal.

    Throughout that year, Arsenal had engaged the services of StatDNA, a sports analytics company based in Chicago. The arrangement was based on exclusivity; Arsenal had paid around $250,000 to ensure that StatDNA would not provide insights for any of its rivals.

    There had been some skepticism among Wenger’s back-room staff about the value of that deal. Now Ivan Gazidis, Arsenal’s chief executive, and its head of business development, Hendrik Almstadt, wanted to do something even more radical.

    The Moroccan striker Marouane Chamakh, right, with Arsenal in 2011. He scored only 14 goals in three years with the club. Credit Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press
    With the use of and belief in analytics growing at many Premier League clubs, a number of Arsenal’s peers had approached StatDNA, looking to employ its services. Gazidis and Almstadt were determined not to let that happen. To thwart their rivals, they proposed buying StatDNA outright, for a fee around $4 million.

    Wenger had been open to the idea of using data from the start, but to persuade him to go further, Almstadt and Gazidis prepared a presentation on the benefits of bringing StatDNA, its founder Jaeson Rosenfeld and his team in-house.

    Rather than making sweeping promises, they focused instead on what analytics might have helped Arsenal avoid. Almstadt, the driving force behind the plan, picked out Chamakh and Park as high-risk signings that a more empirical approach to recruitment would have averted.

    The presentation won over Wenger. The deal went through.

    For several years, Europe’s elite clubs have viewed analytics as soccer’s next frontier. Something of an arms race has developed to see who can find a successful formula first. Most major teams employ a team of analysts; in an increasing number of cases, their influence is growing exponentially.

    They hold sway, particularly, in recruitment, something of a legacy of “Moneyball,” the best-seller by Michael Lewis that was interpreted in soccer as a guide to how to crack the transfer market.

    In November, Liverpool promoted its onetime head of analytics, Michael Edwards, to sporting director. Swansea City last year brought Daniel Altman, the founder of North Yard Analytics, to the club as a transfer consultant. Data also is central to much of the work done at Manchester City, as well as its cadre of sister teams across the world, including New York City F.C.

    StatDNA provides a similar service to Arsenal: It was a data-led approach that led to the signing of defender Gabriel Paulista in 2015, and that encouraged Wenger to try to land Gonzalo Higuain before his move to Napoli, despite the reservations of the club’s scouting department.

    Kevin de Bruyne, now of Manchester City, was also flagged as a potential signing, only to be discounted because of doubts (incorrect, it turns out) about his ability to cope amid the tumult of the Premier League. The approach is not flawless: When Wenger mentioned a talented young wing at Spain’s Real Sociedad, he was told that his metrics were not overly impressive. Wenger smiled, and remarked that he would be keen to see how the player, Antoine Griezmann, now one of the most coveted strikers in Europe, had developed.

    StatDNA’s work with Arsenal, however, runs much deeper than advice on transfers. The majority of clubs jealously guard the specific data gathered and methods used by their analysts — StatDNA was invited to contribute to this article, but declined — for fear of eroding whatever advantage they have accrued. Those familiar with Arsenal’s approach, though, believe it is among the most advanced in the field.

    In part, that is because the data StatDNA produces is tailored for Arsenal. Many clubs still rely on external companies, such as Opta, to provide the raw figures from which their own teams of analysts work.

    Arsenal, by contrast, has developed not just different metrics, but more thorough ones. Where it takes a commercial provider a couple of hours to code a single match, StatDNA requires around 14. The data Arsenal works from, in other words, is far cleaner.

    It is also more in depth. StatDNA focuses not only on individual offensive output, but on defensive metrics, too, factors that are difficult to code. One measure at Arsenal, for example, assesses how frequently defenders make errors: failing to spot an opponent running past them, or losing a one-on-one duel.

    Taken in conjunction with more traditional metrics like Expected Goals, which is the value of the danger of conceding in any given situation, Arsenal has a way of establishing not only how many errors a player makes, but the seriousness of them.

    There is a focus, too, on trying to quantify the value of specific partnerships, or certain combinations, on the field, something that remains faintly quixotic elsewhere. In conjunction with Shad Forsyth, the American fitness expert recommended by Almstadt and appointed by Wenger, there are attempts to use the physical data the club gathers to help in injury prevention as well. The detail here is remarkable, too: gauging a player’s tiredness by measuring how long his foot is planted on the ground as he runs.

    Crucial to all of it, however, is that it has Wenger’s full support. Rosenfeld is regarded as one of Wenger’s most trusted advisers, and what Wenger has described as a “core” of StatDNA staff members are regularly on hand at Arsenal’s training base. Wenger sees it as his job to pick the “four or five” key pieces of information that he requires for each game, but he values highly the many hundreds that come his way each week, knowing that at some point, any one of them could be useful.

    Wenger once was regarded as a pioneer. His arrival in England two decades ago kick-started a revolution in nutrition, in conditioning, in tactics; he was one of the great modernizing forces in the Premier League. Recently, he has come to be regarded — not least by a substantial portion of Arsenal’s fans — as something of an anachronism, a man who has lost his edge.

    His willingness to embrace the new, though, has never left him. He has continued to try to find the future, thanks in no small part to two forgotten players from his past.


  12. some poor PR by the club today, they are rising some ticket prices by 3%. They really know how to piss off the fans. It really is a needless hike in price, what with the TV deal, and of course Ivan Gazidis says AFC are growing their commercial deals all the time, so what reason have they for rising prices for what are already overly expensive tickets.


  13. James Olley ‏@JamesOlley 9h9 hours ago
    AW says #afc tried to sign Kante when he was in France & at #lcfc. Why didn’t it happen? “Its quite obvious when you look where he’s gone.”

    Simon Collings ‏@sr_collings 9h9 hours ago
    Wenger on Mbappe joining Arsenal.

    “It was at stake last season but he decided to stay put.”


  14. @anicoll5 Paul Robinson finished Diaby IMO I was no more than 20 yards from the assault , it was not even called a foul.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. You Are My Arsenal ‏@YouAreMyArsenal 6h6 hours ago
    on our day we can beat anyone and on our day we can lose to anyone


  16. Wenger once said, when a journo suggested that the Arsenal team was lacking heart and bravery, – which player has more heart or bravery, the one who continues to try and play football the right way, having been on the end of or seen team mates suffer career threatening injuries, or the player who is the perpetrator of such tackles.
    Wenger added – There is not team with more bravery than Arsenal.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. WWWB

    Hey I hadn’t got that far down the list yet.

    Trying not to exaggerate and all that! We’re still stuck on about 2013. And we have only just managed to move on from RBs!

    to be fair that is a hard hack to forget, though it sadly appears a few have made the choice to do so.

    Which is fine, anyone can believe in whatever it is that they desire. Including the ref from that 50th game.


  18. “on our day we can beat anyone and on our day we can lose to anyone”

    Isn’t that true of everyone?

    The stats post was interesting, shame the author doesn’t employ them in his own writing. To suggest a ‘substantial’ number of AFC supporters see the boss as anachronistic is highly erroneous, when by any measure the majority still support him and see and value the quality of his work. Once again the amount of noise made by a highly vocal minority is so much a part of the media narrative that it is regurgitated without question.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Someone at AFC must have been listening – not a smile to be seen in any pictures!

    Liked by 3 people

  20. *Training pictures!


  21. passenal
    February 3, 2017 at 7:15 pm
    “on our day we can beat anyone and on our day we can lose to anyone”

    Isn’t that true of everyone?

    pedantically yes, but you know what the author is saying, that an Arsenal team in good form is still prone to losing to teams in poor form, and that this is probably why we are not topping the league. We could very well do the double over Chelsea tomorrow, and still be 6pts behind them in the title race.
    In many ways we have to see ten or fifteen minutes of any game before we can make any assumption on how the game is likely to go. We see it all time on here on match threads, there are many days when 0-0 or even 0-1, there is still much confidence that we will prevail, but there are games like Watford, where many can’t believe this is the same Arsenal that were so fluid and fluent in recent games. We don’t seem to have enough of a middle ground, its either Wengerball, or what the hell is this shit, sometimes in the same game.
    Arsenal at times this season have looked like they could hit a team for 9 or 10 goals, and at others look like they have never played with each other before.


  22. so who do you expect to be the starting 11 tomorrow, I think the only big decision will be Iwobi or Welbeck wide left. I expect Alexis up front, with Giroud a sub.

    Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal,
    Coquelin, Oxlade-Chamberlain
    Walcott, Ozil, Welbeck
    subs: Ospina, Gibbs, Gabriel, Maitland-Niles, Iwobi, Lucas, Giroud


  23. afcstuff ‏@afcstuff 7h7 hours ago
    Arsenal have received 750 tickets for the FA Cup 5th Round tie at Sutton. This is the lowest allocation for the club in the modern era.


  24. Depends upon who is fit!


  25. only Ramsey out from Watford game, all others trained today, including Debuchy and Mertesacker

    Liked by 1 person

  26. In which match did Debuchy get that ankle injury (all by himself), please?
    I remember him getting deliberately crocked twice.

    Here’s an example of how being stamped on can haunt you later in the match, though in this case, D bass-turd Rose finished off our player:


    I’m so busy I can’t keep up with what’s here, but I feel for Passenal & all who suffer with her. Was it Rich who wrote a beautifully empathetic comment afterwards? Thanks, whoever it was.

    I’ve gotta go.


  27. 14th September 2014 is the ankle ligament injury against Citeh – that is the game shown on the film

    Go about 30 seconds in – you see him collapse in agony

    If you have any evidence that debuchy was crocked earlier and/or that caused his torn ankle ligaments then please put it up.

    I would genuinely want to see it.


  28. 750 tickets does not sound right? I thought Sutton had a capacity of 5,000 and for the FA cup the allocation for the visiting team is 40%?


  29. I didn’t dredge up the Vudic handball video in the previous “debate”

    Someone else did!

    I wrote twice above that you can reduce the hack count on Debuchy, from two to one which makes it three in about four years for RBs.



  30. So many videos we could dredge up if desired.
    You all know my favourite: the bruised bone!

    That was a cracker!
    *takes a bow*

    Riley’s crows are no Dicky Birds Andrew.
    Only Eds moaned about them here and not very much, I think!

    you previously implied that we had a prejudice against northern refs which given the record of admiration given in the last for officials like the old bird in the past was not even half as funny as my lame pun above tbf.


  31. Tricky with depleted midfield so I think the Arsenal will get a point today, maybe a sneaky winner.


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