Arsenal: We can work it out

46c6c21e69df450b156ac45ad040f2a4.jpgGood Morning Positive Arsenal fans,

Or as I believe they say on Merseyside a “Go ‘ed, rrrright, nice one, boss, well in, sound, belter, I’m made up” sort of Morning, or something like that.

Another sour taste of defeat in the roof of the mouth this morning, a little sharper and harder to ignore because it was the correct result against a Liverpool side who are as erratic as Arsenal are.

Of the game itself George had spoken of the need for the players, ALL the players, to turn up and perform to their abilities in what obviously would be a difficult tie. We had seen too many “slow” starts, too many games we have had to chase like fiends having let our opponents get ahead. Anfield was surely not the stage to slip into that sluggish entry to a game. Our players were rested. Our opponents had endured a poor night at the King Power and a far from solid home form. The task was clear and the auspices favourable.

The afternoon began poorly. Even before the referee’s whistle touched hi lips we were without Mesut so our creative engine was missing a crucial gear. That Sanchez on the bench was a surprise, but given our shaky recent form I could understand the change, applying a different and hopefully more direct approach. A strategy to try to retain the ball more which is not always the Chilean’s forte.

Sadly the first half was a contrast, to my eye at least, of Liverpool’s dynamic, fast football, orchestrated by Coutinho and with Sane as its cutting edge, in contrast to our own rather pedestrian approach. It was not just that they scored two goals, they looked dangerous every time they crossed the halfway line with the ball. We on the other hand had periods of possession during that first 45 but never ever looked like landing a dangerous blow. 30 yards out we huffed, puffed and passed in triangles, then frittered away possession with a speculative ill-directed chip into a crowded box or were harried off the ball by the gegenpresse. I find it difficult to identify one Arsenal player who during that first half performed to a level that they might look back and give themselves even a 6 out of 10. I saw not lack of effort, I just saw a lack of quality compared to our opponents.

I suspect Arsene did read the proverbial riot act at HT and, as we all saw, we set about the opposition with verve, in fact the sort of energy that had it been employed at 5.30 rather than 6.30 might have made a considerable difference to my work this morning. The obvious trigger for the change of pace was the arrival of Alexis and that he immediately became a thorn in the Scouse flank. Beyond that Latin injection though all of our players looked about a inch taller and a yard faster in that second half. An injection of half time confidence ? Or an injection of my favourite sporting concept at the moment “desperation”.

We clambered back aboard the train with ample 30+ minutes to retrieve at least a point, more than sufficient time. For the next 20 minutes the hosts rocked on their heels, with Coutinho finally subdued and their back four exhibiting all the signs of panic for which they have become so rightly famous.

They bent, they scrambled, they flung themselves in and across, but crack them we could not ! The whole game pivoted on our scoring again. We played out final Lucas and Theo cards but it was not to be. During that final fifteen minutes of the game, when I hoped we would have had the LFC goal under siege, in truth they managed to get a grip back on the match. If Origi’s header had spun inside rather than outside the post then it would have been no surprise. We pressed, but not with sufficient guile to penetrate.

We went down to the third of the well taken Liverpool goals with a blocked shot and a breakaway leading to Winjaldum’s tidy finish. The curtain came down, the evening was truly over.

So, with not as much enthusiasm as I should have, onwards to our meeting with Bayern. There is pride at stake, and possibly a few careers.


Enjoy your Sunday.

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75 comments on “Arsenal: We can work it out

  1. Mills: Those of us who supported George with this blog knew an open door was an invitation to mindlessness. Popularity is cheap. George was banned twice by ACLF for standing up for this club. Both he and Frank. Meanwhile the Anti-Arsenal-Arsenal had free rein to spew their mindless garbage using smileys and winkies. What a fucking set of hypocrites!

    Meanwhile I am researching facts and data for tomorrows blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Shotts- certainly Ive been glad for it-heres to everyone at PA and all the good people at UA.
    May the stats be with you.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Cheer up boys and girls – vast majority who f Arsenal fans support the club, the players, the coaches and managers week in and week out.

    For those who decide they will get behind parts of the club? I support him but not him?

    Although I supported him and him before – and might do again …if things go the way I want


    Liked by 1 person

  4. lots of media running with the story or version of the story that Alexis was dropped for a bad attitude, that he had fallen out with several players, both during games and during training, he was refusing to pass to some players, and that his work rate in training had dropped off big time. Its also being reported that he stormed off mid-session when informed he was not in the starting 11 and was confronted by team mates in the dressing room at london colney after training.
    Its also being reported that he has decided to leave, most likely for PSG.

    one of the reports


  5. Well if that is what lots of the media say Eddy then there we are.


  6. Lots of stories in the papers about some of the refs on recent stag do bender in night clubs.
    Mike Dean on crystal methamphetamine for our game at the Lane?


  7. I suppose, generally speaking, if I see anything in the mainstream media about a footballer, or a football club, then my default response is to file the info under fiction. I say that because so much football journalism is pure fantasy, invented, untethered, with no effort to cite a source or a single reference point of credibility.

    Five days ago the media was full of an unnamed source at an unnamed Chinese club about to confirm the appointment of Arsene Wenger in the Summer for the very precise wage of £30 million per annum netto

    Could you make it up ?


    Liked by 1 person

  8. the Mirror is reporting that Wenger and Arsenal have agreed terms on a new two year contract, but that Arsene has not yet signed it and that it still remains 50-50 on if he will sign it.

    So regardless if he has only weeks or months or indeed another 2 years more at Arsenal, we very much are in the final stages of seeing the last of the Dynasty Managers. There was a time that it was not unusual for a club to stick by a manager through thick and thin, for some even relegation did not see them lose faith in the main man. Managers staying 5, 10 or more years was not seen as a bad thing. Bobby Robson at Ipswich, John Lyall at West Ham, John Bond at Norwich, Alex Ferguson at man utd, Dario Gradi at Crewe, David Moyes at Everton, Lawrie McMenemy at Southampton, Brian Clough at Nottingham Forrest and our very own Arsene Wenger at Arsenal, are just some of the managers that fit into the Dynasty Manager List. All of them had ups and downs, and through the low points they had boards that stuck by them.
    But it has all changed now. Winning the league, even winning the Champions League does not see clubs stick by their manager.

    We now even have the modus operandi of even the most successful clubs and it must be said managers, being a parting of the ways within 3 to 4 years. In the BPL we currently have the situation that Arsene Wenger who last won the league 13 years ago, being the only title winning manager still managing at the club he won the title at. We have seen clubs and managers talk about building a dynasty, but within a year or two, there is a parting of the ways.

    Its not just in England that this is now the norm. Bayern, Real, Barca, PSG, Juve, Celtic, are just some of the clubs who constantly win their leagues and/or CL, and who change manager every few years, for one reason or another.

    Throughout the history of Arsenal, we have by and large stuck by our mangers, especially those that win us any silverware and we have also a history of promoting from within or from those with AFC links. Oddly enough two of our greatest managers, Chapman and Wenger, had no previous Arsenal connections.
    Looking at those ex Arsenal men in management currently, it does look like whenever the times comes to replace Wenger, it is odds on that it will be an outsider.

    Will Arsenal and our next manager, break the current trend, and instead follow one Dynasty with another.


  9. Shocking slur on Deano Mandy

    Mike never snorts or smokes meth though n the 12 hours before refereeing

    He is a professional


  10. I’ve been on AFTV https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htqtAJ1mEs4 from 52 minutes if anyone is interested.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Glad to hear it, indulgence in chemical substances like that before a game is just not cricket….though i am sure a few mushrooms could help in interpreting reality in real time high speed match situations

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Well done PG.

    This trope that we have a poor record in the mini-league of the top clubs. It’s true. Liverpool has an excellent record in this same mini-league, it was mentioned yesterday by the pundits before kick off. And where are they? We still have a game in hand.


  13. Fine effort George – who were the other blokes? Are they Arsenal fans ? Odd looking bunch.


  14. Edd Powell‏ @Eddpowell 14m14 minutes ago

    The same people that claim it’s not Arsene FC and no man is bigger than the club seem to think it’s ok for a player to storm out of training


  15. Alan Smith‏Verified account @9smudge 2h2 hours ago

    Not such a crazy decision to drop him in my opinion

    Alan Smith added,
    Mirror FootballVerified account @MirrorFootball
    Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez set for summer transfer – and why he was dropped against Liverpool http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/transfer-news/arsenals-alexis-sanchez-set-summer-9970720


  16. Who knows what the truth is, but I am sure Wenger had very good reason to do what he did, even if the end result indicated it was, ultimately , a mistake.
    I like Sanchez, but at times like this, everyone needs to stand up and be counted, for the team. Wenger said he made a tactical decision, sounds plausible enough, if this is reality,Sanchez just has to accept it for the good of the team. Running around like a demonised roadrunner looks great, but it needs to be done with purpose, in a team context, and with measured consideration to the nature of the opponent. A man as meticulous as Wenger would have factored these….and perhaps many other issues into his decision


  17. wenger will be asked about it tomorrow at his pre cl game presser, so we might know a bit more about it then, but most likely wenger will state the fact that there are many spats at all training grounds right across the country and this is nothing more than that, and there is no need to make too much of it, if we do, then we will only be making trouble for ourselves.

    george has mentioned on here and on twitter many times, how odd it is that for so many Alexis is beyond reproach regardless of his performance or the result. The one thing with Alexis that I just don’t get, is how he gets so much praise for chasing after the ball when he loses it, the fact he lost it easily or needlessly is overlooked, and instead he is lorded for trying to get it back, for me its the least we should expect from any player who loses the ball.
    Alexis is our leading scorer, he is big on the assist list too, but as george likes to point out, he really does fuck up so many of our moves, his refusal, so often, to pass to better placed team mates is annoying. This is his third season, and there is still no sign of him forming a link up with Giroud, and to an extent walcott too, is a mystery to me, as both seem to be able to link up with all our other attackers over the years. But as others point out here, we accept the bad cos his good is so important.

    I seen one article state that the best Arsenal fans can hope for is that AFC get a big fee for him in the summer and that he goes to a foreign club, well excuse me, but the best we can hope for is that he signs a new deal, and improves as a player and helps AFC win the league and cl.


  18. Wenger on rumours that he will decide when he leaves #afc: “That is not factual. I respect my contracts. The future is down to the board.”


  19. Positively Arsenal‏ @Blackburngeorge 2h2 hours ago

    Its amazing the forgiveness a few goal buys. RVP was the same,


  20. Ornstein reporting Sanchez training ground bust up on BBC……doesn’t confirm it, but gives a bit more gravitas I guess.


  21. In a side with a reduced team ethic, a player like Sanchez makes perfect sense but at Arsenal he has never lost his square peg, round hole status. He doesn’t strike me as being especially bright (an unusual characteristic for a typical AFC player) and no doubt Wenger once had hopes he might have moulded him into something more capable of fitting in with the team and it’s distinctively fluid style of play.

    Wengerball, if you will.

    Instead, the team has had to fit in with him.

    Recent accounts suggest that is true of the entire club.

    If this is the case (and we don’t have much evidence for it at this stage), in footballing terms at least, this makes him a very unlikeable character. Watching Sanchez is a little like watching a one-man Kloppite Liverpool; he runs around a fair bit but not always to great effect and in an energy-exhaustingly unsustainable fashion, to boot.

    The measure of the man – any man – is his reaction to adversity. In this he seems to score especially poorly and, whenever it ends, I won’t miss his tendency towards public displays of antipathy towards teammates at exactly the point teams would normally be looking to rally together.

    Arsenal’s ‘body-language’ has looked out of sorts for much of this season. It may not be fair or accurate to lay all blame for this at Sanchez’s door, but it would be equally optimistic to assume he has had no part to play, given his supposed status as our number 1 player.

    Wenger, for his part, now needs to find entente with the maverick Chilean because any continued fracturing of the side could likely cost Le Boss his very own future at the club. Our almost traditional extended run-in to the season’s end is unlikely to resemble much more of a shuffle, if we don’t fix up right away.

    I don’t anticipate this however.

    The second half of the game at Anfield is evidence aplenty for grounds for continued optimism.

    It is the first half, however, that continues to haunt me and indeed any follower of the club.

    That was the kind of performance likely to bring out the very worst in Sanchez. The irony that Alexis wasn’t even playing can not be lost on anybody.

    But when the widely reported verdict of our own players (Bellerin himself felt we should have been better prepared at the outset), is so negative, and with the memory of Sanchez smirking on the bench still regrettably fresh, one has to seriously ask oneself this question:

    At what point do the grounds for optimism get trumped by the cause for concern?

    Our season, as well as Arsene’s and Alexis’s futures, would appear this somewhat bleak March morning, to be on a knife edge.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Recent accounts suggest football supporters swallow any story that appeals to them. And today, or should I say Sunday evening, the story is of the Mother of All Training Ground Spats as Saddam used to say involving our Chilean top scorer.

    Seemingly all the news outlets have this Spat detailed, eye witnessed, verified beyond any reasonable doubt by ex Arsenal players turned pundits etc.

    Seems a bit odd really if the Mother of All Spats happened on Friday, at the latest, no one knew anything about it until Sunday night?

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Love all the “support the club,the manager,the players”

    Until I change my mind.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Monday post up from Shotta


  25. anicol a massive over statement of what is actually being reported, i’ve seen loads of the reports, and not one have it anything near “the Mother of All Training Ground Spats”, it is being reported as a “spat” and that Alexis walked off and had words in the dressing room with other players, its being said there was no blows exchanged, it is reported that one other player had to be held back from him. Now if that is the “mother of all training ground spats” then I don’t know what would call a real falling out, with blows exchanged, something that happens at many training grounds up and down the country on a weekly basis.


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