Arsenal – A sour afternoon


Lemon-Slices.jpgGood Evening any Positive fans out there,

I am not man to spend an entire evening crouching behind the sofa so I thought I’d get straight to the post-match review, cauterise the wound with trite expression, lance the boil with the balm of language, suck deep on the f****** lemon of defeat. Please help yourself from the plate above.

A shocker of an afternoon, more so because with the return of Sanchez and of Kosc I rather fancied that as an attacking force we might be more penetrative, and across the back line the Frenchman’s experience would steady us in the face of the expected Liverpool onslaught. A little surprised at Welbz up front alone but I could see the sense of the set up.

As it turned out my expectations were not met, and in reality we very rarely looked as likely to get the white bouncy thing into the oblong post thing. Zero shots or headers on target in 94 minutes sums up the afternoon in that respect. In respect of our defensive attributes the return of Kosc provide no discernible improvement. In fact I thought Laurent played quite well as he has not kicked a ball in anger for eight weeks but his fellow defenders touch at times resembled that a skittish kitten, jabbing at a tempting ball of wool, all nervous and fluffy.

Fair play to Liverpool who in Salah and Sane had two decisive contributors, sure in possession, hungry for the ball and decisive in their finishing. We were rocking on our heels at 1-0 and Sane’s second delivered the blow to decide the afternoon. 4-0 was the correct score. No excuses.

Losing to a team in which Alberto Moreno plays though ………(shudders)

Of our lads I thought Hector put his back into it for 90 minutes. When Le Coq came on I thought we finally had energy in midfield that was missing in the first 45. Nothing Cech could have done more than he did. Laca and Larry ? Too late to save our balloon that had gone ‘pop’ long before half time.

That is it – you saw the rest of our players and you know. Barely recognisable from the crew that hammered Chelsea in the Cup final and as recently as just a fortnight ago stormed back to overcome Leicester. A sombre dressing room. I have no doubt eddy will update us with the words of the (ashen-faced) manager.

I suspect the starting line up against Bournemouth on the 9th September will have a few changes, both of personnel and, more importantly perhaps, of mind-set.E shall be back, stronger, faster, hungrier.

I am off to seek solace in a generally more reliable mistress of earthly pleasure. Enjoy your Sunday evening.






About anicoll5

Arsenal supporter, 60, Dad, harmless and humourless, political militant moderate, school governor and worker bee

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72 comments on “Arsenal – A sour afternoon

  1. In both TV & other media press conferences when asked about performance Wenger said “There were some reasons but I can’t come out on that now”


  2. Dressing room issues? Illness- virus? Transfer window bollox? something certainly was not right, at all.


  3. well mandy if it was illness or virus he would say, its one of the other two or both


  4. the players had no excuse for being unprofessional in their performance and attitudes… there just seemed to be a lack of fight that can come from final minutes of losing a game rather than an entire 90 minutes… seriously weird. there is a story behind today I think, we may or may not hear it all in the near future…

    Like pizza-gate, maybe from some1’s book in future


  5. Hope so Shotta 10.19, but this seems to be a bit of a recurring theme, happened about this time last year , but not as bad as today.
    Just hope,as apparently Wenger alluded to in press conferences, the lack of settlement in the squad, perhaps even on top of residual effects of wengers situation last year are behind this, other things do not bear thinking about at this stage The sooner this transfer window is over, the better.
    Guess I am just suggesting this team need to do a bit more defensive work , as a team, not picking on individuals here, than maybe has been evident in the past.


  6. well maney re doing a bit more defensively, our goalie and back 3, as poor as they were, actually put in much better performances than the other 7 player, but we suffer far too many of these kind of performances, where one mistake and we are a goal behind, headless and needless mistakes, casual effort.

    as for the set up, take the 3rd goal, look where Bellerin lost the ball, about 35 yards from the liverpool goal, and we only had Cech between him and our goal line, how can that happen, were our players really meant to be set up like that, and if so, why.

    then there was so many mistakes on all the other goals too, I mentioned earlier OX jogging back so casual on the second goal, but although it did not affect that goal, Monreal’s actions in that goal were woeful, as Mane cut in to shoot or cross, Firmino made a run between Kos and Monreal, and for some unknown reason Monreal instead of taking a couple of steps to his right to cut off any possible pass to firmino, he sprinted out leaving kos and two other AFC defenders playing firmino onside. Its that sort of thing that propels the notion that our defense is not drilled or coached, time and again they act as individuals, not a unit. Hiding in numbers, marking space, taking the wrong options, acting individually. But having said that about the defense, we also see similar from the attack, and we seen it today, it seemed every time today that Alexis got the ball, the move was over as he ignored team mates runs, or he took four five or six extra touches before playing it to the team mate that had been looking for a first time pass.


  7. the six million dollar question is why we have such a discrepancy in level of performance, we have the like of today’s no show, all the way up to the likes of our cup final performance, it is hard to fathom how basically the same set of players can put in two such differing performances. Wenger often after these poor performances says the focus was lacking or concentration. And this begs the question as to why, what is it with our players that they lack the required focus so often.
    For me such focus can only come form within the players themselves, after all Arsenal have a top sports psychologist work with them for over a year now and its still happening. The only options left for the manager to force better focus is for players to know it just will not be tolerated, that such performances will cost them their place. the problem with dropping them is that like with today we are talking four and up in numbers, and there may be a big drop in quality of player – but going on today’s performance, it could not get worse even if we brought in our squad players in place of them – it is suggested that the performance today is down to many of players feeling too comfortable, too certain of their places, and maybe some not giving a fuck if they are dropped or not. either way dropping is what needs to be done. No player should be safe from the axe if their performance levels drop off.


  8. Ed, wish we could fathom some of this. The word comfort keeps getting mentioned, Thierry being the latest. He may have his salary agenda to knock Arsenal, but on the evidence today, may be foolish to completely dismiss this notion.
    But if some are too comfortable, I don’t think getting rid of decent defenders left right and centre, if reports are true,and not replacing them is going to help
    Wenger seemed devastated, to me at least. He not only hinted, he said there were issues behind the scenes that could explain this most inept of performances. But that doesn’t really help .
    Must admit, I am completely baffled, really don’t get what happened today. Perhaps a part of me doesn’t want to delve too deeply for fear of a conclusion that those I don’t especially care for already harbour.
    Come on Arsene, you can bring us out of this funk, you have done it before, do whatever it takes. If some person/s is letting us down, just envisage and imagine they are Nelson Vivas


  9. that GeoffArsenal guy is claiming we don’t have the funds to buy players, and that is why we are likely to sell Mustafi and Oxlade-Chamberlain etc. If funds are really being denied to Wenger for new signings then really he should walk and reveal it. surely he was made certain promises before signing his new contract, if those promises are not being kept then he should force the issue.

    If we sell Debuchy, Gibbs and Lucas at the prices being mentioned in the media we will be in transfer profit this summer, and our wage bill will also have gone down. So if we sell Mustafi and Ox too, we will without any more signings be making our biggest transfer profit ever. Now that would be unreal.

    we have four or five more BPL games before the AGM, depending on how we are going by then, things could be very roudy at that, even if we are going well I would suggest that there will be a very nasty element to it this year.


  10. Have heard Geoff saying such things for a while, he says one day all will be revealed.
    We have cash reserves of well over two hundred mil, money coming in from recent deals. If Geoff is correct, no way will Wenger be allowed to let contracts run down, that will be the test of this.
    But if Geoff is correct, would love to know where this money is going, it would suggest board members have been telling porkies, unless Stan has tightened the purse strings, as I think 90 mil was spent last season?
    But there does seem a bit of a fire sale going on, of reports are to be believed.


  11. Reading Geoffs tweets again, he seems to be implying an unexpected tightening of purse strings by Kroenke has caused unrest? Not the first time I have heard this either .
    Do read a lot of his stuff, but is G someone to trust?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. well the money is going no where, only reasons i can think of keeping the funds is to fund these over the top wages for Alexis, ozil and Ox, £400k, £300K and £180K a week is £880K a week between them, which is £45,760,000 a year in wages, say four or five year contracts, that is £200M and up right there on just three players wages.

    only other reason to keep funds is that the loss of CL revenue means the lost money from that is being held back from transfer funds.

    as for the fire sale, well we really do need to move Gibbs, Debuchy, Lucas, Campbell and Akpom out, but the sale of Mustafi would be an odd sale, coming only weeks after Gabriel, and we also almost sold Chambers to Crystal Palace.
    but when you add in that we would have allowed Giroud to leave too, there is certainly some strange going ons at Arsenal this summer.


  13. well Mandy, normally Geoff is very pro Wenger and pro the club, but I don’t know if he has a source at the club, but he has a few times in the past had similar info as I got from a source in the club. So I’m inclined to believe him.


  14. Reports said we would have allowed Elneny to leave as well.
    After today, they would be insane to leave the defence short. Gab, mustafi, chambers, ok maybe they couldn’t all go, but lose two and we are looking short, unless OG could be drafted in.
    The next few days will be interesting, and reveal all, warts and all, or not. If Stan really has gone into tightwad mode, Alexis, Ox and maybe others will be off.


  15. Yes, Ed, have been looking into this Geoff character, unfortunately, given recent claims, he doesn’t seem the worst source of info


  16. again I can see why certain players are for sale, they as Wenger put it, will just not get games here – in fact as things stand five or six players can not be included in our 25 man BPL squad, but when Gabriel has gone, and now it looks like Mustafi might go, and Chambers had talks with Palace, and rumors Elneny was available, and Wenger has once again hinted that Jack might be allowed go, add in that it now looks like Ox might go too, and with Wenger saying if enough players leave we might sign 1 more, it really is a bit concerning, especially when you see just how bad a performance we can put in with nearly all our players available.


  17. at the moment Arsenal FC is a real contradiction, the club talks about its ambition and yes in so many ways we are massively ambitious, we done the most ambitious thing of all, moved Stadium, but that was 11 years ago, yes now the ambitious things we are doing is totally upgrading our Academy, both Hale End and Colney, we are constantly upgrading medical center, medical staff, coaching staff, fitness staff, we have even upped the women’s team budget, we are offering mega contracts to our star players now too, but we are not taking that last step, we are not going all in and having one of those transfer windows that not only excites the fans, but the playing squad too. Its too much evolution and not enough revolution.


  18. mandy you mentioned that Elneny was for sale too, this brings up the rumor that all the players that our stat company ID are being shipped out – Mustafi, Gabriel, Elneny and Lucas. rather odd when only a couple of months ago Wenger and Gazidis were singing its praises, and suggesting that it could really help us ID the stars before they become stars, as it had ID Kante and Marhez and other we looked at but did not sign.


  19. well edu, what i said about the europa team is fringe players. so if as you suggested we play 7 sub players and 3 others closest to being a sub and some u23 players, what do you call that? and you think we can use that to defeat cologne and others? maybe you still thing we have such a squad like madrid or something. we are as good as the competition we are in, this pride of thinking europa cup is second rate is misplaced. at least it is better than the FA cup. with the all that you guys have been revealing here, europa might be the competition that we get used to for some time to come. so no need to get big headed for nothing. ozil, sanchez and others got us into this competition so why not play them in it?

    the other thing i’ll like to talk about is rob holding. i know we like to protect him. but maybe he needs to go on loan and we keep chambers for now. it is purely stupid to sell mustafi and gab when holding is playing this way. he is a talent but we need to ease him in like madrid did with varane. lots of strange decisions have been made this season, being szczesny. so we need to be careful with how we deal with mustafi. for now he makes us stronger as a team than holding.


  20. New post up.


  21. Man, what a difficult afternoon. Haven’t felt like that in a long time. Bit on the dramatic side, but for the few hours after the game, I genuinely felt like I’ll never feel better ever again.

    I can’t make any sense of that performance whatsoever. The group of players we put out yesterday would, in my mind, have to actively contrive to play that poorly, or genuinely not give a flying fuck, and we all know neither of those options are true.

    Though seems pointless to discuss the actual football when we couldn’t even do the basics right, I will say this:

    1) we lack technical security (feels bizarre to say about an Arsenal side) – Cazorla, Iwobi, Mertesacker/Mustafi are sorely missed.
    2) we lack intensity and athleticism in MF (only one that provides the bite is Coquelin, his other limitations not withstanding);
    Sidenote – so disappointed with how Granit has started this season – he was one of my favorite players throughout last season. Was really hoping he would kick-on after some tremendous performances in the last 10 games last year.

    3) we lack consistent goal threat – yes, we created loads against Leicester and Stoke, but there’s 4 players at Arsenal I’d back to finish off chances regularly at Arsenal – 3 of them were on the bench yesterday (Giroud, Walcott and Lacazette), and Alexis was playing his first game of the season.
    4) we lack defensive security, which spreads through the team and exacerbates all the other issues. How I miss the days of Mertescielny, Bacary Sagna and Arteta in front of them. At times in 2013 and 2014, we looked impenetrable.

    It would be remiss of me not to add, one moment in particular really infuriated me yesterday, more so than all the other unfathomable things we’ve done yesterday:

    We are 1:0 down, still hanging on in some sense; Liverpool counter, Mane is setting up for a 1 v 1 with Rob Holding, who is already having something of a mare. Oxlade-Chamberlain jogs back and stands in the box???? I was screaming at the TV go help the young man! He is up against arguably the most dangerous 1v1 player in the league, and you are just going to f*****g stand there?

    Rant over.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. If what is being said about Chamberlain turning down Chelsea because he may have been tapped up by Liverpool (my guess, and they have previous) what the hell was he doing in the team.


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