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Arsenal: Ambition Undone

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Good morning Positivistas,

And what a long time a week is in football ?

Of yesterday’s game, yesterday’s defeat for let us not pussy-foot about, I think it was the most comprehensive we have suffered for a long while against domestic competition. Of course we have lost games against PL opponents this season and last but not, in my view at least, when we have been beaten by a side playing better football. Sometimes we have lost to more efficient sides, sometimes we were genuinely unlucky, and sometimes our grief was self inflicted. But yesterday we played a Chelsea team who defended very well, organised and decisive. We played a team whose midfield buzzed (Kante) and created, and whose attacking threat (Costa and Hazard) was sharper on the day than our own. We played a team who are by a distance the best in the PL and came up short, in the end by their three goals to our one. Barring a collapse of Devon Loch proportions over the next few games we were beaten yesterday by the Premier League Champions of the 2016-2017 season.

There may of course and are reasons for the disparity on the day. Our many missing players v Chelsea’s almost injury free season, the early injury to Hector, of one or more of our players having a “stinker”, of refereeing decisions disadvantaging us, of the greater difficulty of engaging in domestic and European completion, and of the home sides’ access to unlimited funds et cetera. In other possible worlds other possible results can occur. And Arsene’s exclusion to the stands a further negative in determining the outcome yesterday – Discuss. And all these factors and caveats have a place in categorising the result and salving the discomfort.

One point I must make and underline is that many of our players performed to their limit yesterday. Their performances were by no means bad. For long periods of the game we had Chelsea pinned back. The third goal from Fabregas was the mid-point paradigm of “unlucky” and “self-inflicted” ( see above). Possession was in our favour. Chelsea at times wobbled precariously at 1-0 and at 2-0. We made four extremely good chances, one scored, to saved and the other a shade away from the post. To suggest the Ox did not play his heart out, or that Alex Iwobi did not at times shine is nonsense. Danny Welbeck’s late introduction and the sharpened edge he brought all over the pitch gave us a glimpse of what might have, been on another day.

Nevertheless I prefer to embrace defeat for what is was, a reverse against a superior team, as a more optimistic attitude than the choice of indifference, ignorance or sham adopted by many.

And the reason for my optimism is that we shall learn, become stronger, players will return and we shall recover our balance. The first stage of that will be over the next few days in our preparation for the Hull game. I heard this week that Arsene gave the players two days off after the Watford. I anticipate there will be no days off this week as we prepare for what is likely to be a pivotal fixture in our season, domestically and as we move toward the showdown in Munich. There is only hard work available now.

One small silver lining in this morning’s news is the recovery of Mo Elneny from his calf injury to play against Cameroon in the AFCON final at 7 pm tonight. A 44 year old keeper – whatever next ! Good luck to our Egyptian and we look forward to your return with a winner’s medal.

Enjoy your Sunday.

 

 

 

About anicoll5

Arsenal supporter, 59, Dad, harmless and humourless, political militant moderate, school governor and worker bee

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93 comments on “Arsenal: Ambition Undone

  1. Sober and sensible reflections in that Andrew. No quibbles from me.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Anicoll I agree with Steww description of your piece. Also, watching a load of meerkats on “spy in the wild” helps recover from yesterday…..

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I saw that GP – absolutely brilliant – I loved the bush-baby robot and the chimpanzes – the expression on the chimp’s face when his noisy cavorting failed to attract the ladies was heartbreaking/hilarious.

    Like

  4. In fact it rather reminded me of me

    Like

  5. I liked Dolphins on drugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Anocoll5
    Well said !

    For everyone else who believes Atkinson missed a clear foul by Alonso for the Chelsea goal, there were four Arsenal players about one third Atkinson’s distance from the play and not a single one protested.

    Maybe they all missed it because they are not trained referees but rather simple footballers who don’t know any better, or maybe because they didn’t see anything wrong with the play.

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  7. I have never gone along with the protest theory, when players are rushing around concentrating on football it would be easy to miss the moment of impact. Cech had dived to his right for the initial save so probably would not of seen it. None of ref players rushed to Hectors aid so once again probably missed it. Protest or not is no measure.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Oh well that’s that then, no protest no foul. I take it that in the hand book?

    Liked by 3 people

  9. If you are a proffesional footballer, or even a Sunday league player and you don’t stand up for your aggrieved teammate( if you believe he was a victim of a dangerous play), then yes, this is a problem and btw it’s an unwritten rule in football.

    While Arsenal players are probably at the forefront of respecting the officials’ decisions,
    no professional player will totally ignore an obvious infraction on his teammate, especially if it resulted in a concussion.

    The only logical conclusion – Arsenal players didn’t think it was a foul, nor did anyone else who’s ever played the game at professional level.

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  10. the Chelsea manager said “in any other league that is a clear foul”

    so that begs the question, why are refs in England implementing the rules differently to every other league. Are the English refs the only ones who are correct, or is it likely that they are the ones totally out of step with the rule book.

    On the Alonso incident, if he had done the exact same challenge on Cech he would have likely been sent off, I am in no doubt that if an Arsenal player had done the same challenge on a CFC defender it would have been given as a foul and at least a yellow. I’ve seen enough freekicks called against Giroud for far less, and lets not forget the penalty awarded to Stoke for an “elbow” by Xhaka on Allen, please compare the two incidents, the amount of force, the nature of how dangerous either was.

    today once again we see a player(Mata) unpunished for a challenge Xhaka got sent off for v Burnley.

    Shogun posted a comment yesterday that summed up much of how I feel now watching non Arsenal games, the stark contrast of what is and what is not a foul, compared to Arsenal games, is just unbelievable. Its bad enough seeing the contrast during Arsenal games of how our players are mistreated by the refs, but nothing drives it home as much as watching a game as a neutral, its astounding how the PGMOL, to coin their own phrase, “MANAGE GAMES”, differently when AFC not involved.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Also, if you just conceded a goal from a clear foul( as some have suggested) in the most important game of the season, and you haven’t even approached the ref to inquire about the decision to allow the goal to stand, then you should have no place on a title aspiring team.

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  12. Tom even the Chelsea manger said it should have been called a foul, as it would be in any other league.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Tom is a unpleasant liar.

    CB to the right hand side facing the arsenal goal raises both arms to appeal for a foul.

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  14. Andrew,

    i still need to buy you a pint. if i don’t before the season is over, this season will count as a failure and only then!

    You know we know how hard their job.

    It’s not absurd that an incident is viewed from different angles.
    It’s just modern sport! That is all.

    The england one day captain was bemoaning the lack of aids for the officials after the recent series, the Indian board don’t like help for the officials and didn’t havbe it:

    I believe the discredited liar and former Umpire Hair may have one or two vaguely popular opinions in order to explain why.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. < how hard the job of a modern sporting official is…:

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  16. Finsbury
    the fact you know very little about football is clear for everyone to see from your comments, but one would expect from you to at least know from years of watching the players what a remonstrating action looks like.

    Neither of 5 Arsenal players in the immediate area protest the call.

    Btw, do you know many pleasant liars 🙂

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  17. by this time next week Arsenal could be as high as 2nd or as low as 6th

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  18. Seriously , how the fuck can you knock someone out WITH AN ELBOW and it not be a foul?

    Liked by 3 people

  19. George if you’re letting cunts like that in here you can fuck off too IBSF

    X

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  20. ACON Final

    FT: Egypt 1-2 Cameroon

    Elneny had given Egypt the lead but Cameroon fought back to win

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  21. Fins, I agree,Well I would if I knew what IBSF meant.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Inadequate bladder storage function?

    Liked by 3 people

  23. Fins, The door has been shut,and bolted.

    Liked by 5 people

  24. Arsenal play Hull next Saturday afternoon, and we should have Elneny available for that, then we play Bayern Munich on the Wednesday, and Xhaka should be available for that one.
    the next game after that is Sutton on Monday 20th, and then we go into a mid-season break and comeback on March 4th to play Liverpool, with Bayern on the 7th and Leicester on the 11th.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Given Leicester’s form over the last three seasons I’m quite surprised there hasn’t been a Stewards Enquiry . Chuckling to myself about the meltdown if there was and AFC were retrospectively crowned 2015/16 EPL champions.

    Liked by 4 people

  26. Gary Nev talking a lot of sense on Twitter recently, in stark contrast to the mass of ex Liverpool and spuds pundits …..the wife beaters, serial elbow in the face but protected as they were England captain types, and some ex arsenal players bitter at Wenger, or desperate to keep the media dollars flowing

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  27. Sorry, point of order and my mistake in the above post, Ulrika J wasn’t his wife, luckily for her

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  28. Wasn’t lucky enough to watch the final, how did Elneny get on in what must’ve been one of the biggest games of his career!

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  29. Fins

    Can you believe how clear Atkinson’s view of Bellerin getting knocked out is in that footage? Don’t think you can mistake from his position that Bellerin was out cold before hitting the floor.

    His eyes seem to linger right on him for a second or two as and after he hits the deck, but it really does look as though he doesn’t want to go over to check for a little bit- plausible deniability? Makes calling it a good goal a little awkward?

    That’s not a bad or questionable call; it’s just sickening from a guy tasked with protecting the players health.

    You see a guy knocked out that badly you should be running over there immediately. Few if any of our players had as good a view of what happened post-elbow as Atkinson did.

    Remember him blatantly ignoring a couple of head injuries, and elbows which caused them, in our semi with Reading, but this was different; no way he doesn’t know that when a body stiffens like that it means total KO

    Liked by 4 people

  30. I hope neither eds or Andrew were offended by my previous asking for a circumnavigation of that particular topic. I hope you can understand why I wrote that!

    Getting back to the football and to Rich’s comments above, I don’t think it’s a big conversation, although many disingenuous Groaners do take the effort to dress the attacking vs defending consideration up with their fragment turds.
    There are thoughts that we’ve been sharing here, footballing thoughts mercifully free of any agendas, ever since we all saw Ozil play in the front three when Germany won the WC, with a flatter three CMs behind.
    If Reus was not troubled by injuries the perhaps it’s a conversation that we’d never have been able to have, who knows what Low would’ve done with a fit trio of Reus, Ozil and Muller behind one of his favoured target men (Gomez or Klose I can’t remember) as a tempting option…who knows! Not me.

    My own personal instinct was that AFC were the best football team in England last season (I won’t be offended by any accusations of bias!). Which isn’t too shabby.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Rich
    Within about a year or so broadcasters will probably be using Virtual Reality simulations to give players and officials perspectives to some events, either that or they’ll all be wearing the nanotechnology equivalent of a Go-Pro!

    Hopefully the drones won’t replace the officials but humbly assist them hehe!

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  32. Given the concern of the AFC players for their injured colleague, which the weirdo above failed to troll us upon, for me (I don’t insist!) it’s understandable why it wasn’t their best performance of the season thereafter.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Rich
    As for the Crow, he certainly opened his beak when he saw Gabriel brush Hazards ear with his upper arm.
    For me Walter at Untold has covered the incident.

    i once read that the medical council asked the FA to look at banning heading, in the fifties or sixties I think. Never going to happen, but that’s why one reason why you have lighter footballs! And the following upswing in wages…

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  34. Looks like Swansea hard done by ….to add to a crap weekend on the Arsenal front

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  35. Apparently Coq was nursing a hamstring injury yesterday, according to WOB reporter John Cross
    http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/arsene-wenger-admits-arsenal-were-9763300

    Probably explains a few things. Down to something beyond the bare bones in MF, disregarding the first farcical red, Xhaka needs to learn the ways of this league quickly, and maybe Jack should have touched it out, though we don’t know the full circumstances of that one.
    Facing the runaway league leaders with an injured player and winger in cmf , alongside losing one of the best right backs going, and replacing him with a CD….Probably a recipe for what was to come.
    If Napoleon was around, Wenger would not be one of his lucky generals

    Liked by 3 people

  36. I feel so much outrage at the video clip of a stunnned Hector Bellerin. I’ve see it enough now. That no pundit saw a foul is beyond my understanding. I feel disgust at the FA and the EPL.

    Liked by 3 people

  37. Fins – just can’t believe you haven’t seen the drones used in the footie coverage yet!

    Michael Owen is probably the worst but he’s by no means the only one.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Being elbowed in the face for an Arsenal player is not a foul, Mustaphi had it done to him twice , I think in the Burnley match. Chelsea’s manager, conti took note of that game, hence his post match comments, elbowing in the face or head is legal in the English premier league, yes he said that….credit to his honesty at least. How much more damning an indictment can there be on the EPL, the about to be discredited FA, The PGMOL and the planktonic subintellects and the biased that infect the world of English football punditry. The sporting world has woken up to the potential effects of impacts to the head, and potential law suits…..yet the idiots that run our game, and the spineless, submissive, weak lets grovel to the power brokers …supine, pathetic, non entities like Mike Riley that go along with it refuse to recognise that a blow to the head can actually be a little bit damaging.
    I dont especially blame Atkinson for missing that one in real time, but don’t like the pattern, or the defending by the mass media and all its whores, some of them ex Arsenal of a damaging trend.

    Liked by 4 people

  39. Having spent most of the day busying myself and avoiding negativity, someone abroad sent me an AFTV shitox presumably following the Watford match.
    In it one guy swears, slagging off Venga, while robe-e stands, supposedly patient or summat. I didn’t watch much of it but it pushed my buttons.

    I wrote back to the person that sent me it: If you watch and read what I’m sending you, I’ll watch the video.
    I sent him the ref preview of Atkinson from Untold. The close up of Bellering being assaulted. The If video from football is fixed (YouTube) (check it out). Riley’s 50th shambles, and I asked the guy some questions.

    I know he’ll prolly read and watch none of it.

    It’s at this point, when I think I’ve got over the latest setback, but then become aware of various twatteratti, etc, that I get most mad at pundits, fake Ars fans, negative ninny Ars fans, bloggers and all of the people who simply can’t see anything wrong with what’s going on. I can understand the plundits. When you’re that bankrupt you do and say anything. But lacking 20/20 vision is no excuse to not see what’s happening on the pitch – given the ability to watch matches as-live.

    By the way, when Terry got that kick from Diaby, please remember, it wasn’t long before 2 Ars players got sent off. If memory serves, it was Chelski that started the trouble (not havin dees kids Fkng up my parade, eh).

    Moss gives Sanchez a pat on his bot, having ignored that obvious, vicious push into the camera pit at Norwich. Ah, ****!

    I mean, look how they all agree that Alonso didn’t foul. Did you hear Lee Dixon? What a ****! All match he justified all that was wrong/made up. ****! Shearer? Well, you can understand, surely. If you’re gonna stamp on people’s heads, and demand no action is taken, and take your elbow to the World Cup to ensure England get knocked out…
    The fella must know thing or two. I’m surprised Lee Bowyer isn’t a plundit. And we can all look forward to J Barton if/when he retires (although, will he actually retire from kicking people on and off the pitch)? Point is: these types of peeps get the jobs.
    They do like it up em.

    Yeah, yeah, ref debates should take place on Untold, but if they’re not to be mentioned, where’s the CONTEXT?

    I’m going to ****ing bed.

    ****ing angry.
    ****ing despondent.

    But
    COYG

    Liked by 3 people

  40. Mandy

    Thanks for posting Vince’s piece.

    A5, Thanks for this article.

    Liked by 2 people

  41. New post up

    Like

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