182 Comments

Arsenal: Deflection and Guile

_95802512_monreal_getty.jpg

Good morning Positive Arsenal,

A third straight win despite a number of changes in the starting line up, tiredness among the players and dogged opponents hell bent on leaving with a point. Perhaps the most striking point of the evening was Leicester’s approach. League champions last season, their trophy deserved, and dangerous opponents on their last visit to the Ems. This season an entirely negative, nine men at the back all evening, barely willing to move the ball over the half way line. Even Vardy seemed half hearted. Just one serious effort on goal (and an excellent save from Cech required). Was this mob really standing toe to toe with Athletico Madrid in the QF on the Champions League last week ? Entirely fitting that they should be undone by an own goal.

With regard to the Arsenal starting line-up it raised a few eyebrows, mine included. As I said yesterday we have a strong squad so changing players in itself was not unexpected after the hard afternoon at Wembley but Nacho as a third centre back, Gibbs as a wingback, Theo in from the cold, and no start for Danny or Larry ? I admit those selections puzzled me.

I heard someone say that maybe Arsene was using the game to assess those players whose future at the club after the Summer is in doubt. Speculative given the importance of the game to our final PL position but not entirely implausible.

Of the game itself we played “alright” in the first half. We had a lot of possession, stood up to the Foxes’ aggression, and moved the ball well to the edge of the visitors’ box. Beyond that point we seemed to seize up. Our attackers seemed reluctant to run at opponents into their penalty area with the ball. The ball was passed sideways and backwards across the final third. Corner came and went. We rarely had more than one player actually in the box to inflect any damage from open play. Sanchez dropped deeper and deeper to evade the Leicester centre backs. Theo flickered in and out to no obvious effect. It was only in the final 10 minutes of the first half that Mesut came to life. We never seemed to pull Leicester apart and we did not look like scoring.

As is our usual approach second half we stepped up our efforts after half time  but it was not until the full complement of substitutes were on after 75 minutes that Arsenal began to crack the Leicester shell. Huth and Benalouane, having enjoyed an easy night swatting Sanchez away like an annoying bluebottle all night, suddenly faced the muscle of Giroud. Sanchez and Danny concentrated on the wings, and Aaron played further forward than le Coq. When Kosc went down writhing I had a bad moment but, much to everyone’s surprise, he was back up and playing within a couple of minutes. We became urgent in our efforts. The volume in the ground went up.

The pressure built, the Leicester defending became more ragged, for the first time all evening their defenders were being drawn out of position and gaps were opening. The goal when it came was scruffy, two deflections and no chance for the keeper.

After that decisive goal a strange few minutes. The referee and Sanchez both seemed to lose their heads for no obvious reason. What had been a fairly mild contest degenerated into a fracas with Cech and Schmeichel both leaving their goals to get involved in a row. Cech, to his credit, was telling Sanchez to control himself. Fuchs was already on a card and an idiot for slinging the ball at Alexis. The Austrian should have been off. Alexis, sore lip or not, should not have flung himself down. More concerning immediately after that incident Sanchez crashed into another Leicester player (Drinkwater ? ) in front of Arsene’s technical area and went down clutching his face again, for no obvious reason. If Jones has seen what I had seen then we would have been one Chilean short on Sunday for the NLD. The man had lost it. We all like a bit of passion and fight but even so …….I shall put it down to his exhaustion after two testing games in four  days.

Very much a difficult job completed successfully. Three points nearer the opposition and the Manchester derby tonight to add a little more incentive to our chase. Fingers cross for the Ox and for Kosc this weekend and that they are both fit.

Enjoy Thursday.

 

About anicoll5

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

Comment navigation

Newer Comments →

182 comments on “Arsenal: Deflection and Guile

  1. Mattias Karén‏Verified account @MattiasKaren

    Wenger on power shift in North London: “You cannot say that the weight of one year has the weight of 20.”

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Gurjit‏ @GurjitAFC 6h6 hours ago

    Pires on Mbappé “I do think Arsenal will sign him. Mbappé has the potential to play for Arsenal & Wenger is the right manager to manage him”

    Like

  3. Sorry, i can’t go back to find the post, but someone suggested that rather than get rid of Sanchez, we need to add another top class midfielder to work with him and Ozil. So it’s interesting that this debate didn’t occur when Santi was in the team. Sanchez seems like he is trying too hard to create and score – it seemed to me on Wednesday that he was falling back deeper and deeper to try and make something happen when he should have been closer to the opposition goal and trust his team mates to create for him. It seems to me that we played better as a team with Sanchez up front early in the season, so it’s interesting that Arsene mentioned that he prefers to play on the wing where he is able to touch the ball more. I wonder if that is part of the problem? Arsene wants him to play up front (he did buy him after missing out on the bitey one) but Sanchez is not disciplined enough to stay in the middle? It will certainly be interesting to see where this debate takes us come the summer.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Robert Pires said today that Arsenal would have challenged for the title if Cazorla had stayed fit, he called him our “metronome”

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Get this rubbish off PA please

    Like

  6. Eduardo, they’ve really hit rock bottom now. They have revealed their true colours and hopefully this will turn the tide against them.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Giovanni van Bronckhorst is set to win his first league title as a manager, with his Feyenoord side only one win away from glory, they can clinch the title in their next game away to Excelsior
    Nice to see a former Arsenal player doing well as a manager.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. passenal if opposing fans did a stunt like this Arsenal fans would turn on them big time, so lets see what the Arsenal fan base is truly made of, there really needs to be a major backlash against them, anything less and the Arsenal fan base will be a disgrace and an embarrassment

    Liked by 4 people

  9. I feel like I’ve missed something here…

    Like

  10. Oh…now I see. Disrespectful bastards. This is indeed a new low.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Seems like I’ve just walked into a lively debate about who know what….

    Like

  12. wenger said this morning that Mustafi would be out for another two weeks, but he trained with the rest of the squad later, as did Ospina

    Like

  13. A bit late G-p. This is a nice comfy place for great debates.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. eduardo

    I think what Pires said is being misrepresented.

    I can’t find the exact quote I read earlier, but after the ‘I do think Arsenal will sign him’, He also said something like, ‘but for how much?’.

    Which suggests to me that what he meant was that Arsenal want to and will sign him IF the opportunity is there. Which is basically what Arsene Wenger said as well. Doesn’t make for as good a transfer story though.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I’m guessing the outrage is about the projection onto the stadium.

    All those bastards want is attention. Why give it to them even with your outrage? #LearnFromWenger

    (banned smiley)

    PS. Knock them the fuck out if you see them.

    Liked by 4 people

  16. All they are doing is projecting a desire to stay forever in the glow of their glory days.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Did it really happen( the projection?) or was it some kind of photoshop fakery?

    Like

  18. like G P, I don’t get what is going on re the outrage…

    Like

  19. The post in question has been consigned to the spam bin TS

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Oh.. Ok then.. that explains it…. it didn’t sound at all good so I guess I didn’t miss anything.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Perhaps the projectionists weren’t even Arsenal fans…..could have been Banksy, Damian Hirst or Tracy Emin ?

    Like

  22. Spuds their all spuds, I can’t imagine any faithful ARSENAL supporter would show the club in a bad light just before the NLD. It’s just to big of an own goal, like throwing meat to the baying fans of those down the road.
    So I’m sure no group have claimed responsability ….their definitely spuds.
    Steww hope you enjoy the Brighton Bristol game

    Like

  23. Let’s keep Gordon Banks out of this Mandy.

    Liked by 3 people

  24. Lets hope the Lasagne has already been dispatched! If not time to mess up their season a bit on the field. Strange to think its the last one at the Coop.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. After four straight defeats since he took over, Tony Adams’ Granada have been relegated from La Liga.

    Like

  26. Five PL games today seen a total of 4 goals scored, with not one home goal scored,

    Southampton 0 – 0 Hull City

    Stoke City 0 – 0 West Ham United

    Sunderland 0 – 1 AFC Bournemouth

    West Bromwich Albion 0 – 1 Leicester City

    Crystal Palace 0 – 2 Burnley

    Like

  27. bayern munich have won the german league again – five in row, 14th time in 20 years and 26th time in 48 years.

    Like

  28. Jeorge Bird‏ @jeorgebird 7h7 hours ago

    FT: Blackburn 1 Arsenal 5 – Nelson hat-trick, Malen brace.

    Arsenal U18 team: Virginia; Osei-Tutu, Olowu, Medley, T. Bola; McGuane, Dasilva; Fortune, Nelson, J. Willock; Malen.
    Subs: Crean, Gilmour, Nketiah, Omole, Dragomir.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Ed, that’s a great result for the youngsters especially as Reiss was carrying a knock a couple of days ago preventing him playing for the U23s. It has also been a good weekend for our ex- youth players with Hayden, Bartley and Yennaris all scoring

    Like

  30. Nketiah is only back form injury too, AFC u18’s have 3 group games left, man utd away, chelsea away and west ham home, and if they win all 3 they will top the group.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Oh Burnley Oh Palace

    Why why ?

    Liked by 2 people

Comment navigation

Newer Comments →

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: