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Arsenal – Medium/Rare

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Good morning + people,

Well the six game winning streak came to an end yesterday evening as we all saw, the defeat more of a breathy whimper on our part than the blood soaked orgy of violence that I have come to expect at the Britannia. As recently as the 13th May we had thumped the same opponents on the same ground, so there you go. Football eh.

This morning I see the experts are out in mainstream media and on social media with 101 theories to explain Arsenal’s oh-so-obvious deficiencies; the players chosen and not chosen, the positions they played in and did not play in, players bought and sold -v- not bought and not sold, the tactics, the strategy, the team psychology, the physiology, the medical team, and don’t imagine you are off the hook for your part in this “debacle” Vic f******* Akers. Oh yes there is nothing like a 0-1 defeat at Stoke to stir the juices of discontent.

I admit I don’t think we played as well as we can. Stoke did not match our football yet when they had one half chance, caused by our defensive hesitation, they scored. Ironically against our usual bête-noire in against the Orcs – the long high ball – we coped almost perfectly all game. When we were firmly in charge of the ball, as we were for long periods before half time and for the final half hour ( when my guess is the possession percentages must have been 90/10 to us) we did not score. We created but no egg hatched. The longer the game went on it seemed to me the less likely it was that we would crack the home sides defence and earn at least what would have been a respectable point.

Of our players I thought Hector and the Ox were excellent in their wing back roles. As we all saw, though Mr Marriner did not, Hector’s bursting run could have been the key we needed to turn the Stoke lock. I thought Granit and Aaron controlled midfield all afternoon and quelled the usually lively Orc toilers, Fletcher and Allen. Alexander Lacazette I thought had his best game for us so far. Yes I know he did not “score” but he ever so nearly did, and no doubt some will say the goal should have stood. Strikers have many facets to their game, of movement, imagination and anticipation, and he demonstrated them throughout the game. On a side note unlike many French players who have joined us over the years Alexander looks very fit and well able to last 90 minutes.

Of our opponents I would have to pick out Jack Butland who looked highly competent. He has a fine future, somewhere and in the meantime will get loads of goalkeeping practice under Mark Hughes.

Where are we then – two games in ? I think in receipt of a sobering slap to wake us up to the realities of League football. Despite our excellent form and Stoke’s poor recent results nothing can be taken for granted. I have no doubt we shall be working hard in training all week on the art of converting overwhelming possession into strikes on goal.

Onwards to Anfield next week and I see a 4pm Sunday kick off which gives us a few days of reflection on yesterday, and on or recent performances, and to identify what we are doing well, and where improvement is required. I do not expect any radical alteration to our set up or our approach to the Liverpool game. I anticipate Kosc will be back on duty which will make us a little steadier at the back but I warn you – it will be goals goals goals !!

Enjoy your Sunday…

About anicoll5

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

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66 comments on “Arsenal – Medium/Rare

  1. while watching the Bellerin penalty incident and the interaction between Welbeck and the Ref as Danny appealed for it, and I could almost see it on Danny’s face. He turned to the ref, said it was a clear penalty, the ref said something to him and there was more than a look of resignation about it. No it was like Danny had been told a revealing truth.

    I can only imagine the interaction with the ref went something like this

    Danny – ref, ref, ref, that is as clear a penalty as you will ever see.

    Ref – nah Danny, I’m not giving that.

    Danny – but Ref that was always a penalty when I played for Man Utd, was even a penalty when I played for Sunderland

    Ref – Danny whose badge is that on your shirt

    Danny – The Arsenal

    Ref – Need I say anymore

    Danny – oh I forgot for a second, sorry Ref.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Agree Eduardo, absolutely no point in our boys trying to play anything like Spurs, we would finish with six or seven on the pitch. Xhaka must have to think twice on anything he does, dier, dembele et Al do not. I am expecting Seo K to get the Xhaka treatment very soon, perhaps against a media darling like Liverpool or Everton.
    But the Spurs red less run is embarrassing for the PGMOL, they are a pretty dirty team , and not averse to a dive or two.

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  3. Did you look at the interaction of Danny Welbeck and Jack Butland eddy?

    Decisive

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  4. George: you have spoken a fair amount of bollocks over the years but that last comment of yours is like a bollocks trifle with extra bollocks.

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  5. So we stopped creating chances in the last 15 min you say? Funny how that’s just about the time the CM whose head everyone is baying for for being too far forward all the time, dropped right back into the midfield where they say he should stay and stop acting like a striker.

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  6. Martin Keown doing a hatchet job on Mesut Ozil in his newspaper column

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  7. I could understand stevie me having a pop at ozil, after all we play his pay masters next week, Liverpool, but what excuse is there for Martin Keown to do a character assassination on Ozil. Is is just being a little Englander, is he butt hurt cos the club have not hired him, is he trying to stay relevant, or is he just licking up to his paymaster in the media

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  8. i’m not sure what you mean Tim

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  9. now stevie me is doing a hatchet job on granit xhaka, watch supposed gooners lap it up, and ignore that we play LFC next Sunday.

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  10. I see the end of the transfer window once again happens during an International break. We play Liverpool on Sunday, and then the international players are off for two games with their countries. Only good thing about it from our perspective is that Alexis will be actually playing for Chile v Paraguay on transfer deadline day. so at least we might see less made up transfer rumors about him in the last couple of days of the window.

    just like with the start of the season, the transfer window should be shut before players head off for International duty.

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  11. on international games and the transfer window, a good thing for us is that it looks like all the players we want to sell or loan out, will not be on international duty so at least we won’t have that holding things up.

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  12. Keown might be dumber than he appears.

    Been a number of times someone else in punditry class or literally on sofa next to him has had a particular pop at us, and Keown has then been saying same thing following days/week.

    Think once it was about us not getting in refs faces, supporting fouled teammates, etc. It was the topic for a negative segment on Motd, probably led by Shearer. Then next thing it was in a Keown column.

    Aping those bums is a pretty poor look for a club ambassador.

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  13. Wenger has explained that he left Holding out of the Stoke game cos the lad has had a dip in confidence, and with Mustafi available he had the opportunity to leave Rob out.

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  14. Keown is much like AFTV, he knows what earns him money, and its attacking and undermining Arsenal. It keeps him on our screens and on the sport pages of he rags. £££££££££££££

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  15. Sorry George – just commenting on your comment about the blog not belonging to you etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Heady: Lolz.
    New post up girls and boys.

    Liked by 1 person

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