Arsenal: the lightness of the Cup


Good morning Positives,

An FA 6th round tie was always, and probably will always, be a special fixture. Yesterday gave us a ‘classic’ Cup football confrontation, the mighty Arsenal, though slightly bruised after recent events, against the resolute, full-of-heart underdog of an opponent.

I was pleased to see Arsene set out a strong starting line up and bench. I say that not because I doubt that Rob Holding, Ospina or AMN would have failed achieve the same or perhaps even a better final result against Lincoln. It was a tie we were always expected to win, and would have done so whoever played after all. No, it was good to see that for once all our big guns had an opportunity to play together for 90 minutes in a game that allowed them to enjoy their football, to pass, dribble, shoot and use their craft. Above all, for the first time this year, we scored goals together. It was five, we know that it could have been ten or more as the game lapsed into attack v defence after half time.

I do not know about you, and the kind of jobs you do and the challenges you overcome to earn a daily crust, but occasionally I really enjoy dealing with a project that is straightforward, predictable, easy. The simplicity reminds me of what is important in what I do, and reminds me what is just pointless  background noise. It helps me re-set the compass. And so I felt it was for our players yesterday, who from where I was standing at least seemed to “ENJOY” the game. That most fans stayed on after the game to clap our own and the Lincoln players I’d say that it was a good evening. A football match as entertainment – who would have thought it ?

I make no pretence of having seen enough of the game to pick a man of the match. I must however give a more general tip my hat to Shkodran Mustafi who over recent games, particularly when he has found himself fighting a lone centre back battle, has performed valiantly.

If any reader thinks in emphasising our superiority I am being harsh or dismissive of our East of England opponents, I am not. Every man of them played to the very limit of his ability and energy. At 3-0, 4-0 they dashed about the pitch to try and press us with a ferocity that Her Klopp would have been proud off, their pink clad keeper flung out his limbs in all directions as he faced the gallery of red and white marksmen queuing to take their turn. In the first half their tenacity and organisation served them well, and for all the sneering “but they are non-League” commentary from the punditistas Lincoln held us at arm’s length better and held out for a damn sight longer than Bayern Munich had managed on Tuesday. A word of praise for their winger Nathan Arnold. Not often you see Kosc left on his arse and Arnold’s finish required the very best from Cech to deny the visitors. Their fans went home delighted, a day they will never forget.

So I think a satisfactory afternoon, enjoyable for Arsenal players, the manager and Arsenal fans (well the sane ones anyway). Clearly there are no great tactical or strategic lessons to be learned in one off Cup games. I hope however that it reminds the players why they do the job, that in a game mired in money, in the media blizzard, in the machinations of agents and boardrooms that they can still revel in their skills, their fitness and movement. Taste that Cup glory, just for the evening.

Two more 6th round ties to go and I am sure you will be with me in wishing the Lions all the best for their game at the Lane.

Enjoy Sunday.

22 comments on “Arsenal: the lightness of the Cup

  1. Yes ok there was a game of football, but what about the protest, that should be what we focus on?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. And Chris Sutton – don’t forget the despicable Chris Sutton

    To be fair all that nonsense Sutton, protests, even the allegedly terrible refeeeing of Taylor I heard and saw nothing off.

    Some beautiful co ordinated play between Mesut and Alexis though – my gawd that boy can pick a pass and land it exactly on the spot.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. The old fart’s thoughts
    Well done Lincoln. They played until they were truly cream crackered and then superior talent and fitness took over. So it was eventually an easy win for us and a trip to Wembley. Hopefully not a meeting with ManU who seem to have the wood on us in Semi-finals. Finals not so much of a problem.
    In a fairly mundane for us, first half, not many talking points other than a super save from Petr to stop Lincoln taking the lead. Mind you, Theo had suffered an equally good save earlier but until he opened the scoring on the verge of half time, we’d seen why Lincoln top their league. Aided and abetted by some dodgy whistling, they looked a capable outfit.
    Early goals in the second half killed off the tie and it really came down to how many we wanted to score. We even managed the ultimate walk in goal which hasn’t been seen for some time. It was Goliath versus David without his sling-shot and whilst 5 wasn’t as many as it could/should have been, it was good to see both the Lincoln players and their fans able to leave with heads held high.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Most of us were there to see and enjoy a game of football, which we did. All the rest is just background noise, which unfortunately the scum of the media prefer to amplify over on pitch events and thereby set the agenda for the sheep to follow

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Happy days toytown -newspapers smiles-nice!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I thought we played a very good game. Lincoln came at us quick and hard, and we let them have their moment instead of going toe to toe and risking the game getting too out of control, especially when refs are known to let excessive physicality go against us, because we’re ‘too soft’. I was never worried, even if Cech hadn’t saved that shot, except by the atmosphere that would be created by it.

    In fact, I often find myself more worried about the crowd and the media reaction than by our game, and I think it affects the players too. Which is why it was smart for Wenger to pick the first team, and let them feel their way into the game and get back to some form. It was supposed to be the minimum we could draw from the Bayern Munich game until we were unfairly punished in the second half, so good to get that here. Critics will say it is just Lincoln. But I remember an interview with Henry some time ago where he said that the way to analyse a performance is not to do with the name of your opponent, but whether you made the right decisions at the right time. Arsenal did that yesterday, and I enjoyed watching them do it. Which is all one can ask for.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Reporter: Are you saying goodbye to Arsenal fans ?

    Wenger: Where are they going ?

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Seems like everyone has taken steww’s advice.

    I thought I’d check out the Roma/Palermo match to see how Szczesny is getting on, but unfortunately the first thing I saw him do is allow a shot that should have been a routine save to squirm under his body. Fortunately for him it turned out to be offside.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Roma win in the end with a couple of good saves by Szczesny. He didn’t really have much to do and despite 3 goals it was quite a dull game.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I did write this morning, but it was just a rant about Aston Taylor and his ilk, who, in booking Xhaka & Kos – was doing exactly what I expected. Even if you can’t get Ars’s opponents the win, at least get the most effective players injured and/or booked, then they’re fkd up in the run-in, innit?

    Well, once I’d seen a few comments, I thought what I had to say (and boy, what a moan it was), my ranting seemed *incongruous to say the least. So i didn’t post it. (I don’t know if you really don’t see the stuff I refer to in the previous paragraph, or if you’re humouring me, Peter Griffith stylee, A5)!

    I visited here many times today. I watched a bit of totty but despaired when a Millwall player was correctly booked for kicking Wanyama. I mean, Fk! Wan:a kicks people all the Fkng time and he doesn’t get booked. Deli gitface got a red, but in a European match. Whoops, I’m delving into shenanigans, pardon pls.

    Of course, I’m glad Arsenal won, but I don’t think our men were as bad in the 1st half as some say. Our players know there’s different codes for tackling, etc, and there’s nowt like that for enforced handbraking, IMO.

    Ta for the update from Roma, Passenal.
    I’m looking forward to any midweek article from Shotta/AA/Mills or even Steww. (I read that you’re sick, and working, etc, so I wish you well, esp. for the beautiful work you’re doing. I hope you have a chance to get back on your bike as Spring comes along. There’s nothing like excercise you like/love – to lift spirits, add dopamine and get fit(ter).


    Liked by 3 people

  11. * Four syllables. Where’s my BAFTA?


  12. Szczesny leading the golden gloves race in Italy, wonder if he wins it will he be the first keeper to win the golden gloves in both seri a and the bpl

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Wenger spent up to an hour and a half chatting all things football to the Cowley brothers after the game yesterday.


  14. I was so happy Ramsey scored, particularly the infamous ‘walk it in’. All players miss the target, and whilst it’s obvious Aaron (and all players returning from injury) was off target earlier in the game, to see him smash the ball in from 3mm gave me untold pleasure.

    And now I’ve offloaded my previous post – joyful plays v Lindoln are flooding back.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. ‘Why I watch games three times or more’

    By Connor Armstrong

    Devoting time to post-match analysis is part and parcel of the job of being a manager – but Arsène Wenger has admitted that he can be very particular about it.

    Speaking after the 5-0 win over Lincoln City on Saturday, the boss revealed that he has watched our home defeat against Bayern Munich three times – and then he explained why.

    “I watch many games,” he said. “For example last night (Friday night) I watched the last 20 minutes of Paris Saint-Germain against Barcelona again.

    “It’s interesting once you see all the conclusions that come out of the game. The same people that speak after the game said with 10 minutes to go that Paris Saint-Germain were absolutely outstanding and 10 minutes later they were absolutely rubbish.

    “It’s always interesting to take a distance, because people keep your eye and brainwash you with what you think is right. I think it’s always very interesting.

    “You cannot live in an isolated world, because when you are a football player, even if you don’t read, people tell you what people say. Like in your job as well [as journalists], when you write an article people say ‘that’s rubbish’, ‘that’s great’ or ‘that’s not great’.

    “You cannot live in a world where you cannot be influenced by everything.”
    Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to http://www.arsenal.com as the source

    Read more at http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20170312/-why-i-watch-games-three-times-or-more-#dB8FfJhgpr2Byt25.99

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Ranty: I finished my shift. Check me out tomorrow morning.


  17. Sniper‏ @clockendsniper 44m44 minutes ago

    In 1980 Arsenal’s ST’s were not only the highest but twice the price of a Man United season tkt.


  18. Arsenal sold 59,454 for the Lincoln game, tens of thousands did not bother to turn up, its time the club stopped allowing those who do not use the ticket to renew. Give those that want to go a chance of a season ticket, and stop pandering to these self entitled idiots.


  19. Eddy, there were not 20000 empty seats.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. 20,000 empty seats was just the propoganda of the malcontents and the mainstream media.

    Liked by 3 people

  21. Morning Positives – new post up – let your breakfast go down first though !!


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