Arsenal: Fight not Flight


C8byb0uXoAMB2PG 2.jpgGood morning to All Positive Arsenal fans,

This Monday normal service has been resumed.

After a few disappointments in our recent PL form we faced an important test yesterday. By ‘we’ I mean the club, the players, fans, and our manager. I’d say we came through that test well. Admittedly not with the three points we all wanted and that would have put us above the perpetually whining Portuguese but a solid point earned. To have endured a further defeat yesterday would have been destructive to morale, terminal even.

The football played by both side yesterday was not particularly flowing or of the best quality. In the first half neither side rarely managed to string three passes together. Movement into space was hesitant. Short passes were intercepted, long balls skipped out of play, tackles flew in across midfield and cards were brandished. Even Theo joined in the violence, bizarrely waved on by Andre Marriner. Playing Navas as wing back/right back was a Pep wild card that could have had fatal consequences as he launched into Nacho. Dreadful challenge. Clearly we were not the only team having an edgy afternoon.

By the second half both sides had calmed down and the football began to flow a little more smoothly. The departure of Kosc was unwelcome but Gabriel fitted in well. Gabriel is the sort of defender who would trample over his Grandma to clear a ball. The Brazilian’s more ‘direct’ style of defending may have been the better choice on the day than Kosc who did not look comfortable during the opening 45.  I suspect we may be without the Frenchman for a month or so until his Achilles problem is solved. Our defensive shape is a work still in progress, as Sane and then Aguero’s goals yesterday showed so it may do no harm for Gabriel to start and have his place assured for the next few games. Despite their early bookings Xhaka and Le Coq stuck to their defensive tasks and were strong without being reckless. The man who was out best performer yesterday scored the second equalizer and the point was won. A decent 15 minutes from Alex Iwobi again yesterday. The youngster added a bit of late but welcome craft in the visitors’ half.

From 85 minutes onward I was pacing, I admit it. I welcomed the final whistle.

Reflecting on the game this Monday morning what pleased me most yesterday was that our players showed they have it in them to recover from a setback, or two setbacks to be more accurate, and to get back into a game. In recent games when an opponent has scored it seemed to me their reaction betrayed a lack of confidence and a resignation, and that response is really is not good enough. In contrast yesterday no heads appeared to go down. There was no arm waving or finger pointing histrionics from anyone. Every man took responsibility, worked hard to get back into the game and broke through the Citeh shield twice. We played as a team, and that is a step forward. And the fans in the stadium ? From what I heard on the TV plenty of noise, plenty of good encouragement. Much appreciated.

A short break now and West Ham on Wednesday. We go into the game a little more confident and facing an opponent whose poor form is dragging them inexorably towards the relegation zone. 12 months ago Slaven Bilic was a man whose reputation very much on the up. Well he is not blowing any bubbles now.

Enjoy Monday.

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68 comments on “Arsenal: Fight not Flight

  1. So the shoots of the resistance are starting to sprout, the star talking heads of AFTV were attacked and inconvinenced outside the stadium . I thought they were in their rights to voice the opinion they have,but this has only allowed the majority of them to feel entitled with the belief that is the mindset that prevails.
    Well that was shown to be a massive NO.The TV tough guys in the Wenger outs were met by a few people who are not scared by angry rhetoric and bluster.
    I suspect their will be the need for security guards outside the stadium.
    It’s all about the money

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Smooth round up A5, thank you.
    COYG! Time to spank the bubbly Wet Spam! said Bukowski.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The old fart’s thoughts.
    Well, though far from our best display, it did bring back the thought that the guys were really trying. Such a pity that several of them were really off the boil and couldn’t practice what they were so desperately trying to do. But they tried and we looked closer to a win than has been the case for the past two months. That’s forgetting of course, that we also came a bit “closeish” to losing it.
    Going down one after a close call at the other end of course didn’t help but unlike previous weeks the sprit was still there and this was amply reflected when Theo’s scrambled equalizer was immediately countered by City’s second. Both City goals arose from defensive errors and it appears that young Hector really needs a haircut. His mop is either weighing him down or creating wind resistance…for sure he seems to have lost a yard of pace; he was outshone by Nacho on the other flank who was always looking for the chance to break forward.
    Our attack looked a bit disjointed; Alexis was either getting caught in possession or misplacing passes and Danny was giving Stones and co. no problems despite the effort put in. Neither was Oz at his finest but there were patches of silky brilliance that augured well for the future.
    When Shkodran equalized early in the second half after a good deal of pressure from us, I did think that perhaps we were going to win at last but despite several attempts it was not to be and Oosp continued his good work from the first half to at least earn us a well earned point.
    Now for the Hammers, which will see my son (boo) and grandson (cheers) occupying different rooms on Wednesday. Keep the faith.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. well whatever about the fans making noise for a change, there was many scuffles reported, both inside and outside the stadium, it seems that the silent majority are getting fed up with the assumption that the noisy minority are the voice and face of this great club, and some have decided to meet fire with fire. Robbie of AFTV looked like he had wet himself when someone confronted his money making racket. And talking about money making rackets, the WOB’s were handing out leaflets yesterday asking for donations so that they could “pay off their creditors” and they pointed out that once the donations reach £4000 they would close the page and set up another one. It’s laughable that so many of the fans who whinge about the club fleecing hem will be the ones who fund these loudmouth internet faces. And talking about loudmouth internet faces, I see Double Thick, was in the middle of it all yesterday with a loud speaker, I kid you not, a fucking loud speaker. Talk about embarrassing the club and our fan base.

    Yesterday was Rocky Rocastle day and his famous quote

    “There is something really special about Arsenal Football Club… I was always told ‘Remember who you are, what you are, and who you represent: The Arsenal.’

    was made a mockery of by the malcontents, who in reality don’t care about Arsenal Football Club, don’t want anyone to know who they really are, what they really are, or that they represent no one but themselves, and do nothing but sully the good name of Arsenal FC.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Positively Arsenal‏ @Blackburngeorge 25m25 minutes ago

    The protesting voices have been heard, now they must listen to the voices of those that have heard enough . Works both ways.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. anicol the problem is that Koscielny’s injury can not be fixed, he has had an achilles problem for over two years now, they do not want to do surgery on it, and have been “managing” it for two years now, Its also felt that the back problems he suffers from are a result of the leg problems.


  7. I still don’t see that we played that badly yesterday. We certainly played with more confidence in the second half. I also don’t agree that Mustafi was our best performer, but that just goes to show that two people can look at the same thing and see something completely different.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. does anything expose their self entitlement more than this sign of theirs

    the fact that they don’t even see it, shows how stupid they are, no wonder we see cringe like “wexit” from them too.

    by the way why was Double Thick shouting on his megaphone,

    “finger owls”


  9. And Thierry Henry can shut his hole while he’s at it

    Liked by 5 people

  10. You’ve gone full Theo Pass !!

    Liked by 3 people

  11. eduardo

    That’s what makes it such a dick move of Deschamps to play him in the friendly once he’d played in the qualifier.

    Think international managers get in that mode of thinking ‘we’re just as important as the club game! and when a player’s with us, he’s ours!’, but that seems incomprehensibly short-sighted and poor when it comes to using players, especially important ones, with fitness or injury issues in friendly games.

    Also called up and played Diaby when we’d already pushed our luck by using him in first 3 games of season (2012). Injured immediately after and unfortunately that was the last time Diaby ever looked right

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I was going to ask if after all the hype and build up if there was a protest but it seems this ‘protest’ was even more of a damp squib then the ‘successful’ a4 protest last season.

    Can any of you recall in any field such a small group of people not representing the majority of the fan base or group they claim to represent being given such coverage for their failures in the media year after year after year?

    Is this a hostile corporate takeover attempt, or: ?

    Liked by 3 people

  13. yes finsbury, it happened with and in fact is still happening with UKIP and Nigel Farage.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Bingo!
    TBF Shotta & David Squires got there first with the Wexit and then the Wexit Bus satire but that shouldn’t lessen our, urm, our appreciation of this spectacle, and all who follow it

    Liked by 1 person

  15. if Wenger signs a new deal, then all Arsenal supporters who interact with the WOB really need to constantly point out to them that they are failures, utter and complete failures, years and years of a wenger out campaign and not even the slightest difference made to the boards or wenger’s decisions. The campaign has been nothing but one massive failure, well that and a massive ego massaging exercise for some loudmouth internet faces.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. I might even go so far as to admit at times yesterday Citeh played well – dont hate me

    Liked by 3 people

  17. passenal

    I thought it was quite a strange game. We didn’t play that badly but we weren’t anywhere near our best either.

    I was alarmed and a bit dismayed by the defending early on. Think it’s a natural step for a team to try to be extra solid defensively when they’re trying to rebuild form and confidence, but we either don’t seem to see that as a viable option or simply can’t do it.

    But we got better gradually, and deserved the equaliser. Then a horrible blow as City pushed hard immediately and we looked mightily uncomfortable and conceded. Margins are small and City have great attackers, but that was a horrible reading of the match situation from an experienced world class player in Ozil not to play safe and clear it at that moment. Reminded me of the Ox in the Monaco game.

    We rallied again, Mustafi with excellent determination and a cracking header.

    After that I can’t remember either team excelling. Iwobi had a nice moment, there were some close things but not any great chances. They probably came a bit closer to scoring and looked slightly more dangerous (though that could have been nerves from me. Likes of De Bruyne, Silva, Aguero and this Sane kid terrify me around our box. They’re very good players)

    I thought team was dead right to be worried about losing it the longer it went on and to show some caution.

    Hopefully we’ll stabilise a bit now, get the win midweek and go on from there.

    I’m glad it’s City in cup as, good as they can be, we tend to be allowed to play more football against them than rest of top 6, or anyone really. Could be a really exciting game.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Thank you Andrew. And your final paragraph is better than anything I might come up with in advance of Wednesday night’s fixture. I might copy and paste it.

    Liked by 3 people

  19. WWB
    After the Lincoln game there were people heckling the aftv “crew”.
    They created for themselves the opportunity to do something worthwhile, and they chose to talk to Piers Moron about the football!

    We can imagine that this is the opportunity that some at the club have been working for:

    “Thank you for having taken an interest in our affairs but I think it’s time for you to get orf my land!”

    Then again they could always just continue to roll out more rope for these classy people to expose themselves in all their glory in front of the watching world. People have always enjoyed freak shows (x factor etc).

    This stiff upper lip so beloved of the Corbynist Etonians at AFC, which can be criticised at times, it does appear to have some use!


  20. anyone see the clip of Wenger’s reaction to the build up and scoring of the second man city goal, he had his arms out in exasperation, he seems to shout no, and he was blowing out his cheeks in a very tense manner, even worrying manner, and when the goal goes in he picks up a water bottle and flings it into the ground, Steve Bould also looked very frustrated and angry.
    To me wenger looked in anguish, there is no doubt he is under immense pressure.

    Its amazing to think that some people say Wenger does not care.


  21. I was going to leave it Fins but the Old Etonian quip forced my hand;

    Please enjoy the 4.10 minute anthem of the Wenger Out Brigade.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. All join in now –

    “There are bad times just around the corner,
    The horizon’s gloomy as can be,
    There are black birds over
    The greyish cliffs of dover
    And the rats are preparing to leave the AFC.
    We’re an unhappy breed
    And very bored indeed
    When reminded of something that nelson said.
    While the press and the politicians nag nag nag
    We’ll wait until we drop down dead.”

    Liked by 4 people

  23. the tens of thousands protesting yesterday, almost as many as at the a4 protest

    Liked by 2 people

  24. we can but hope that when Wenger signs his new contract, that all those malcontents who say they will not renew their season ticket, are true to their word, and we will see supporters who want to support the team come to the games.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. i.am.willy.milky™🔄‏ @TallAsHerEyes 4h4 hours ago

    “Sorry, kids. You’ll have to wear them school trousers for another year because I spent all the money on a megaphone.”


  26. A5– @2.16pm—LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Alexis lost possession 35 times in yesterdays game


  28. I am Back! Three days away and no one missed me. Lol.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Steww and Andy Nic were in fine form I notice. Will have to catch up on the match later. Hope my DVR followed my instructions.

    PS: Eddy – Are you serious. Did Alexis cough up the ball 35 times in one game? Jaysus.


  30. I don’t know about 35 times, but at least one of them was in our penalty box and he had to be grateful to David Ospina for saving his blushes after giving up a very presentable chance to City.

    Liked by 2 people

  31. Under-16s lift Liam Brady Cup

    We officially reopened the Arsenal Academy facility at Hale End on Friday, following a major redevelopment project.

    To celebrate the completion of the new facility, we held the Liam Brady Cup at Hale End over the weekend.

    Our under-16s competed against teams from Bayern Munich, Manchester United and Juventus in matches lasting 20 minutes a half – and we got off to the best possible start with a 4-2 win over Bayern in our first game.

    Flo Balogun gave us a second-minute lead after turning in the box and burying a shot before Bayern equalised from the penalty spot soon after. Our lead was restored when Bukayo Sako sprinted down the left before finding Tyreece John-Jules, who finished well from 18 yards.

    John-Jules was on target again in the second half, steering a shot into the roof of the net after a goalmouth scramble, before Sako made it 4-1 from the penalty spot.

    Bayern did pull one back late on, but we topped the table after the first round of games, with goal difference keeping us above Manchester United, our opponents in the second game.

    image: http://www.arsenal.com/assets/_files/images/apr_17/gun__1491234612_GettyImages-661920686.jpg

    Coach Trevor Bumstead made plenty of changes to the starting XI, with the match kicking off just an hour after the first.

    Alfie Matthews twice went close to opening the scoring – on one occasion, his lob was cleared off the line by a retreating defender, on the next, his header was flicked onto the bar by the goalkeeper.

    The opening goal did eventually come, and Matthews was again involved, being brought down on the edge of the area. Jordan McNeff’s free-kick was well kept out but the ball fell to Mark McGuinness, who tapped home.

    We were well in control and put the seal on the victory with a fine Sako goal. Having combined twice with John-Jules, the winger displayed quick feet to audaciously pirouette past the goalkeeper before chipping in the second.

    Despite losing 3-0 to Juventus in our third match, we qualified for the final – again meeting the Italian side.

    This time though, the result went in our favour. The final’s only goal came early on, Vontae Daley-Campbell racing down the left before swinging in an inviting low centre that was superbly finished by Xavier Amaechi at the back post.

    Amaechi’s goal was enough to ensure the win, with the day ending with Bumstead’s young charges lifting the Liam Brady Cup on the balcony of the newly-reopened building.

    Read more at http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20170403/under-16s-lift-liam-brady-cup#St8BKxbVX8Oai0ep.99

    Liked by 1 person

  32. shotta and passenal the alexis losing possession 35 times is a stat from Adrian Clarke’s the Breakdown, so would be correct.


  33. Ever, Greatest‏ @FaithInWenger 2h2 hours ago

    Henrys comments on our players have time and time again shown why I don’t believe he’d be a good manager

    Liked by 2 people

  34. Why does Merson hate Arsenal so much?


  35. Merson and all his family are staunch chelski supporters. He has no affiliation with ARSENAL other than he happened to play for them, something he couldn’t remember at the time and has long since forgot.

    Liked by 2 people

  36. Fair enough, but he seems to spend a lot of time talking about the club, and not in a positive way.
    But in reality, guess he should just be ignored, as he is thick with a capital F.

    Liked by 2 people

  37. Mandy

    He’s a colossal git. Chelsea supporter, thick, personal grudge against Wenger, a natural ‘Arry sort of man- who knows exactly what’s behind it?

    I think he’s less of a problem, however, than the journalists who endlessly downplay the role of finances in the game.

    Last week I saw one suggest we should hire Brain Marwood, and see if we can use the ‘secret formula’ which allowed him to bring in Silva, Aguero and Toure.

    This week one of the more intelligent ones, Barney Ronay, tore Wenger to shreds while talking up City’s progress, and mentioned City ‘may have spent double’ , as though that was a small incidental matter and not the number one factor in assessing a club and the reasonable expectations you should have for them.

    Those are the guys, working that narrative, who ensure most discussions are hopelessly skewed and erroneous from the outset.

    We, or more like Wenger, suffer a lot from never enjoying the benefits of the reset effects which come into effect when a club changes manager.

    Occasionally there’ll be mention of how much a club has spent over the longer term, over multiple managers, but most of the judgement is confined to what the latest manager has spent, and as a bonus those new managers are typically given at least some benefit of the doubt, a grace period where optimism is permitted and the new man is not held accountable for the actions of his predecessor.

    If you’re continually spending mammoth amounts, and it doesn’t hurt you or alter your ability to keep doing so, the new manager clean slate really does have a lot going for it.

    Quite simply it’s rotten luck for any long-standing manager, who enjoys none of the clean slate benefits- and who instead is hammered for something like the opposite: ‘all this time you’ve had…, ‘this is 100% your team (with your rivals it typically isn’t)’- and yet is constantly compared to those who do receive them

    The thing is, we may well also be afforded that (unless they really have it in for us) should we hire a new manager…but it wouldn’t alter the important reality that what you have spent in the past- i.e your current squad- with however many managers, is of enormous importance, as is what you can spend in the future.

    That’s the stronger reality of it all, and in fact it’s what influences what happens right from the outset with any new managers, who are in fact quickly judged by their bosses on results, yet in the world of debate it is often obscured.

    This year the distortions are especially strong : Wenger is being judged against 3 guys in their first year, from the richest clubs; one in his second, one in his third, another in his first. All those guys are given some degree of benefit of the doubt for performance, with any spending before they arrived partially erased or more or less ignored.

    Liked by 5 people

  38. A bit late to the comments but followed the review shortly after publication. Great stuff Andrew as per usual. Stew’s preview too was yet another great chapter on this site.

    Just to add my disappointed with Henry’s recent comments; especially those directed Ozil’s way…

    I think it all started because him and his ilk wrote Özil off too quickly when he initially arrived at the Emirates, despite the evidence showing in Ozil’s first season him and Ramsey were running the show till December when we lost them both at different times to injuries. Oz has also notched up the most PL assists of all players in that time and during the last 2 seasons he has been directly involved in more goals than any Arsenal player in “big games”.

    But instead of acknowledging that, him and others continue with their dogmatism to protect their initial erroneous analysis through further error. He’s on a slippery slope arguing mode.

    Looking forward to burst whatever bubbles Slavin got left tomorrow night.

    Liked by 4 people

  39. PS: great comments!

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Team news: Ox, Ramsey, Koscielny, Cech

    Arsène Wenger has revealed the latest on his team ahead of West Ham’s visit to the Emirates on Wednesday.

    The manager discussed Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Aaron Ramsey, Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker and Petr Cech. Here’s what he said:

    on team news…
    Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Aaron Ramsey have a test today, and we will see if they can be involved. I think there’s a good chance they will be back in the squad. Apart from that, we lost Laurent Koscielny. For how long? I don’t know.

    on Koscielny’s injury…
    It’s an Achilles problem. If he’s ruptured a few fibres of his tendon, it could be a few weeks. If it’s just an inflammation, he could maybe be available for selection next week against Crystal Palace. At the moment, I think he has a scan today and we’ll know much more tomorrow.

    on if Mertesacker is available…
    He is available to play, yes.

    on Mertesacker…
    He’s been out for a long, long time. But he’s been available now for a while, for a long time. He’s worked very hard. Physically, he’s ready but he lacks competition.

    on Cech…
    He’s unavailable for tomorrow.
    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/20170404/team-news-ox-ramsey-koscielny-cech#AkjKbcktlZDwHBKJ.99


  41. Rich

    “AW knows the market”
    – Alan Sugar

    They poor disingenuous hacks can’t mention the double rate that the petro-clubs like to sniff and get high upon because then they’d have to explain the above comment from Sugar to their readers and explain why so many clubs are happy to follow the Risdale “model” promoted by the PL and beyond (including said media).
    Like Utd who spent 60-70M on three LBs in one window alone. That worked out well for them…

    Liked by 3 people

  42. Wenger on title race, Alexis, his future

    We return to Premier League action for the second time in just four days when we host West Ham United at Emirates Stadium on Wednesday.

    Scroll down to see what Arsène Wenger said to the media at London Colney ahead of the clash

    on when he is hoping to make an announcement on his future…
    I have answered that question many times. I can understand that you ask again. Don’t worry, you will get that soon.

    on whether he wishes he could resolve this matter sooner…
    I wish just to dedicate my energy to football and the next game, and leave my own personal case out of the debate. What is important… I think if I’ve shown one thing in my 20 years, it’s that I care about Arsenal, I care about the next game, and I will continue to do that as long as I’m here.

    on how the uncertainty around his future has affected his job…
    Nothing. I am professional and when you are professional, you perform in ideal conditions and non-ideal conditions as well. That’s what it is to be professional.

    on whether there’s a sense of a reinvention of Arsène Wenger…
    It’s difficult to debate about things which are not so important. What is important is a good football team on the football pitch who play good football. All the rest is literature and we can debate, speak and organise forums. What is important is good footballers who play with the right spirit, the right attitude and the right pride to defend the colours of the club.

    on how important it is to resolve the future of Alexis…
    He has one and a half years of contract, I don’t see what suddenly all that debate is about. We are professional football people, I don’t understand. Our job is to perform as long as we are somewhere, when I sign a contract I commit until the last day of my contract. And that is what it is to be professional. So I do not understand this kind of anxiety one and a half years before the end of contracts. It’s absolutely denying what a professional guy is about.

    on the support of the fans and his message to them…
    What I believe, again, is everybody has an opinion today. What is important is that guys who can influence the results stick together and take care of what matters really for them, which is to win football games.

    on if title race is back on…
    It depends on City tomorrow night at Chelsea. Chelsea are still in a very comfortable position, but it’s still possible that the title race is back on, yes.

    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/20170404/wenger-on-title-race-alexis-his-future#vugEYK00Xbh1ImS1.99


  43. Coquelin missed training today and is a big doubt for west ham game, as is Ospina who has a back injury, Emiliano Martinez set to play his first BPL game of the season


  44. Two mid table plucky outfits swapping punches at Trafford Park tonight – are De Gea with the early clown shoes.

    Disgraceful cheating by both clubs – an abomination to proper football – particularly the way any player touched flings themselves on the deck.

    Managers eh ?

    Liked by 2 people

  45. Coooo – Pogba on


  46. with Ospina injured Arsenal have recalled Matt Macey from his loan with Luton


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