Arsenal: Reeling in Monday

1310c466-df1c-46a2-b8b0-336b76fac2c1 2Good morning Positively Arsenal,

A genuinely good contest last night, which is unusual for Monday night. Very much the “game-of-two-halves” for Arsenal.

The first 45 we played in patches and, for my second surprise of the evening, the visitors set about us with a bit of quality. For various reasons that were debated to death last night we may have been slightly lucky to go in with a 1-0 lead at half time. “I’ve seen ’em given Ron, I’ve see ‘em given” et cetera. If it had been Deano rather than Bobby Madeley last night the penalty count might have been 4-2 (to the Arsenal obviously). If I was looking for a decisive moment in the half it was Nacho’s kung fu clearance from Rodriguez’s header. If the Baggies had gone level at that point, and they were playing well, it would have rocked us hard.

The second half there were no patches in the Arsenal display. Cech barely touched the ball and Mustafi and Kosc had a leisurely time at the back. We controlled the ball and pinned the Baggies back. The second goal seemed a long time coming despite our dominance and until it arrived the visitors were still in with a slight chance. From the 67th minute however the points were assured. I was hoping for one more but we slightly eased off the tempo, perhaps with Thursday night in mind.

For us as has been said elsewhere on here Nacho was in his element last night. Decisive in defensive and on two occasions he could have scored, with only a bobbling ball and the grasp of Nyon defeating him. His left side partner Kolasinac also had another good evening, an uncompromising physical first half and a much more fluid attacking second. And finally on the podium this week I place Alexander Lacazette. Two chances, two goals. The first a classic ‘predator’ six yard line finisher goal. If you look at his penalty thought it was even better. Foster dived the correct way and any less power or careful placement of the shot he would have had a hand on it. An important penalty, and they all count.

For West Brom I was impressed with Krychowiak and Rodriguez. Both were at the heart of the expansive first half effort were they attacked us hard and in numbers. It is interesting that the Baggies have the profile to attract a player as good as the Pole on loan, and Rodriguez I have always liked. Nice to see Kieran get in 90 minutes last night too. Good lad. Whether it is the influence of the new Chinese owners or Pulis has seen the light I don’t know. Watching two quality ball players must be a tonic for the Hawthorn’s regulars though who for years have had to put up with some dull stuff. I can see a top eight finish for WBA if that progress continues.

Anyway that is me done this morning. I will be missing on Thursday evening, and on my way to Wroclaw (Ryanair permitting), but back on Sunday so if anyone fancies a little post match delight from Byelorussia speak now !!

Enjoy your Tuesday.

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107 comments on “Arsenal: Reeling in Monday

  1. is Martin Keown going down the Paul Merson route, just saying any old tosh to attack Arsenal


  2. Arsenal Holdings plc Chief Executive’s Report

    Our journey as football fans will always feature a mix of strong emotions – that emotional connection is what makes our sport so compelling.

    Last season we felt the disappointment of dropping out of the top four in the Premier League for the first time in 20 seasons yet we added to our club’s great history by winning the Emirates FA Cup for the third time in four years. That run of league consistency in an era of fierce competition was unprecedented and the joy of lifting the FA Cup for a record 13thtime (and the manner in which we won it) is undimmed and should bring us great

    But we are Arsenal and expectations quite rightly run very high. Our overarching aim is to compete for and win trophies and, in particular, to win the Premier League. It is that goal which informs all the decisions we make across the Club, on and off the pitch.

    In order to compete at the top, we need to strive to be better than our competitors in everything we do. That is why during the past season we have continued to make substantial investments to drive the club forward in areas such as analytics, scouting, psychology and medical and fitness support as well as broad investments in our people capabilities throughout our Academy.

    In addition we have transformed our training ground at London Colney, completed a total rebuild of our youth facilities at our Academy at Hale End and invested in a new Desso grass pitch for our youth and women’s teams at Boreham Wood. All our facilities are new state of the art. In total we will have spent £40 million on these building projects over the last three years, all with the aim of creating the optimal environment for us to develop and grow our players.

    The development of our own players through our academy remains a priority for our football club. Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Jeff Reine-Adelaide have progressed into the first team dressing room this season, joining the likes of Alex Iwobi, Hector Bellerin and Francis Coquelin who have recently made the same journey to become important members of our First Team squad. We have high hopes for other young players such as Reiss Nelson, Joe Willock and Eddie Nketiah, all of whom impressed on the pre-season tour to Sydney, Shanghai and Beijing.

    At the top of the pyramid, we have also scaled up our investment in our First Team squad significantly in recent years, spending a net £203 million in transfer fees in the last three seasons (including a record £103 million last summer alone). This is coupled with an increase in our wage bill from £166 million to £199 million in the same period.

    With few notable outward transfers during this period, our squad size had grown and we therefore had two major objectives for the summer transfer window. To add to the squad only where we could improve the quality of the players available to our manager – quality over quantity – and to reduce our overall squad size.

    To that end, we secured Sead Kolasinac and Alexandre Lacazette, our two primary targets for this transfer window. We also transferred or loaned a number of squad players to enhance the efficiency of our spending, to generate transfer revenue for reinvestment into the team and in some cases (for example, as in the case of Emi Martinez) to aid their development.

    At the same time, we retained Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil and promoted new young talent from our Academy pipeline into the first team. These decisions, taken as a whole, have again strengthened our squad for this season’s competitions. We will continue this long term approach of progressively reinvesting all our available revenue in our playing resources as we look forward.

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  3. I didn’t see the game, but it sounds like the Wilshere/Giroud combo is coming back to the fore. It’s also good that Giroud has now scored his 100th so he can relax and start knocking a few more in. I wonder what all the Theo haters will have to say after this? He may not be the most technical footballer, but he scores important goals for the club and is happy with his role in the squad.

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  4. Orbinho‏ @Orbinho 19m19 minutes ago

    Arsenal’s top scorers in European competition
    @ThierryHenry 42
    @Persie_Official 20
    @theowalcott 20

    *includes qualifiers


  5. passenal, Martin Keown said Walcott was disappointing and that Wenger would not be happy


  6. Pass, Theo distractors would still have plenty to complain about on this performance, while still being a tremendously gifted player his decision making is awful and is caught offide at an alarming rate for someone who is so fast. Both Oli and Jack were left cursing at his inability to provide passes at critical times. I do believe however he is a better finisher than people give him credit for and often the opposite is true when he needlessly passes when he should back himself to score. A Theo positive tonight was his build up play from midfield when he played some sweet passes at times as did many of the ARSENAL players.

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  7. There be a new post up, there be,


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