Arsenal: Red Star at night, Giroud delight


Good Morning Positives Arsenal,

A satisfactory result and, I thought, a good display last night from a line –up formed from returning casualties and youngsters, with just a hint of je ne sais quoi with the surprise insertion of Mo Elneny into the centre of the back three.

Of the game itself I admit just 14 hours on the details are fading and thee was not a lot of high quality football. My abiding impression of the evening is the crowd rocking noisily  from the appearance of the teams to the final whistle, all except one moment that is. On the pitch I have flashes of Jack surging forward with the ball at his feet, Francis crashing in and out of tackles, and Reiss Nelson always available and in space to deliver a series of good crosses. Petr Cech was the busier first half goal keeper and he was very much in charge at the back last night, shouting and pointing at his makeshift defence with gusto. For a long period each time Matt Debuchy touched the ball I crossed my fingers but for a man who has played no first team football for a season he looked genuinely sharp and fit. He has come a long and no doubt very frustrating road. His return does however open the options up for Arsene to rest Hector, if required.

If the game of a swirling mist of half images then it is illuminated by one shaft of light, a few seconds of footballing quality that will remain in the memory long after the 2017/2018 Europa League campaign is consigned to historical record.

The neat and speedy build up to create the chance for Giroud was good by Jack and Theo, but Olivier’s finish with his back to goal, surrounded by defenders and with a gently looping ball was superb. There was no luck, no random chance in his careful guiding of the ball into the corner of the Belgrade net. For at least five seconds even the Red Star hordes were silenced. I have stolen this from elsewhere this morning but the line “he may not be a world class striker by the conventional measure, but he scores plenty of world class goals” sums up our Frenchman perfectly. It was a night on which, until the 86th minute not a lot had gone right for him, with much sweat but no reward, but he persevered. He who endures conquers. When the season is over that goal is still likely to be among my best moments.

The only disappointment I had last night was the red card for the Rodic which I thought was a little harsh and Francis’ involvement in the player’s second yellow regrettable.

So off to Goodison on Sunday. I watched the closing few minutes of their game against Lyon last night. Dead man walking Ronald, dead man walking. Needless to say we shall have probably ten different starters at kick off time but, as Arsene made clear in his pre and post match, Jack is not that far away from the Premier League start he craves. The momentum is positive.

Enjoy your Friday.

48 comments on “Arsenal: Red Star at night, Giroud delight

  1. ‘The Master of the One Touch Finish’, ‘Big Sexy ‘ not quite ‘World Class’, he scores or is involved in some World Class goals.

    Francis Coquelin
    has been called a cheat by several people this is not fair, if there is one thing no person can call him is a cheat. The Coq gives everything in every game , wether you think he is good enough to play is a different matter. Coquelin was clearly elbowed in the face had severe swelling on his cheek you could see the concern on Reiss Nelson’s face when he saw it.

    Mathieu Debuchy
    If you continue to be a pro, do your job get back to near your levels, I will forget about how you behaved .(As if he reads PA comments everyday Banned EYE ROLL)

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Great stuff Andy.
    Coq got a proper whack, no playacting there.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. It was the way he looked up after hitting the ground that surprised me, perhaps I am being too critical.


  4. The egg sized lump on his face tells me you were Andy. I have made a living by dishing out lumps like that, and to have a lump like that appear, I can assure you, its enough to put someone on their arse.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. I see Everton have issued a life ban to the gentleman who resorted to fisticuffs with the Lyon players with his toddler tucked under one arm.

    They may wish to have a word with the idiot who stated the brawl too.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. As per usual, the press said nothing positive about this display whereas I thought we were bloody marvelous. A reserve side, Petr excepted, performed more than adequately and it was great to see the 3 real youngsters performing well overall. The return of Matt Debuchy was a bit ring rusty but overall he did a sound job. As for Jack, esp in the 2nd half, what a gem. His contribution to Olly’s loop de loop was a highlight of the season, let alone this game.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Williams should have got a straight red for his shove on the goal keeper, a moronic stunt.
    Probably a foretaste of the kind of Everton tactics Koeman will employ on Sunday, with a more accommodating EL match official. We’ve seen it before at Goodison.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Just watched some highlights of JW:
    A few games in succession, a JW will add that extra level to his game, a little bit extra acceleration etc. and hopefully re-capture the outstanding form he had at the end of the 14/15 season.

    I would very much enjoy watching a match fit pair of Ozil (probably a little bit rusty after a few weeks off) and Wilshere behind a striker in the current set up.

    Q: did Arsenal play with “two up” yesterday? Wilshere behind Walcott and OG?


  9. A lovely Post, Sir Anicol, and I especially liked your section about Giro, and wherever you pinched the Giro comment, “he may not be a world class striker by the conventional measure, but he scores plenty of world class goals” — congrats to whoever arrived at that concise piece of prose!

    You were a bit harsh on Le Coq — he not only had a bump on his noggin, he had a 2″ gash on his forehead — and there have been straight red cards for that in other games — oh, god, I hope that does not lead to more of the ‘bent referee’ chatter. Lol

    In any event, thanx for that Anicol.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. GF60 @12:37

    Well said, sir, spot on.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Good evening Henry – If I were a football manager, even a fantasy one, Olivier is a player who I would always want in the squad. He is not the most skilful, or the best in the air, and occasionally his judgement is poor. But he is always involved and trying to make something happen. Even if he is not he scorer the gaps he opens up, the defenders he bashes and wears down make the game easier for his comrades.

    And unlike most AFC players he has a very decent fitness record (touches wood)

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Totally agree, Anicol, @ 6:37, even if I do yell some rather scatological comments at the TV screen on occasion upbraiding him for something or other. This is usually met shortly after by a screaming goal from the Giro man. lol

    An addendum that I would usher forth following on from the above is; — that I would always be on the lookout for someone better. Although that is true of my response to all players — I want the Arsenal to be forever improving and adapting — who knows, we may be able to uncover another Bergkamp, Vieira or an Ian Wright, Wright, Wright!!

    Never satisfied, me! lol. [please delete all ‘lols’ if it is going to get me in trouble with FP] lol

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Coquelin’s only regrettable involvement in the sending off incident is that the Red Star guy decided to swing his arm downward to catch him in the face, watch the incident again, the defender jumps with both arms up for leverage but for no good reason at the last moment he flays one downward into Coquelin, it was needless, and unnecessary and deserved the yellow it got. I had missed it firs time round and wondered what the yellow was for, and when I seen the lump on Coquelin’s face I knew contact had clearly happened, the only question was intent, so when I seen the highlights show last night I seen what the ref clearly seen.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Wenger on Deeney “If you look at these players & what they have achieved in their careers, I think that speaks much more than any sentence”

    Liked by 4 people

  15. We have a few absentees for Sunday’s trip to Everton – but no new problems following Thursday night’s win in Belgrade.

    Alexis and Aaron Ramsey sat out the last two games but they are expected to return at Goodison Park, and Laurent Koscielny is fit to play after cramp forced him off towards the end of our defeat at Watford.

    We have a few absentees for Sunday’s trip to Everton – but no new problems following Thursday night’s win in Belgrade.

    “Alexis, Koscielny and Ramsey will be alright,” confirmed Arsene Wenger.

    “Welbeck is out. He has a groin problem, I think it will be two to three weeks before he is back. He will not be back before the international break.

    “Mustafi will not be back before the break, and Ospina as well. Ospina is not very bad, he has a grade one [groin problem] so it’s just a couple of weeks. Mustafi is a bit worse than Ospina.

    “Calum Chambers as well will be back after the break, and everybody else is alright.”

    Read more at https://www.arsenal.com/news/team-news-alexis-koscielny-ramsey-welbeck#xQiA9lx44AQTwDQG.99

    Read more at https://www.arsenal.com/news/team-news-alexis-koscielny-ramsey-welbeck#F4C81JYbrQVUGbj2.99

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Enjoyed seeing Jack and Debuchy back in the thick of things. I know one, maybe both have voiced frustrations, but nothing are also a victim of the scandalous lack of protection afforded to our players, and others as the PGMOL willingly maintains the so called English game.
    There is much in the media on how England need Jack, perhaps there is just a minute chance he will be afforded just a small fragment of a sliver of that awarded to other England players who spring to mind.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. above….hope Jack awarded a fragment of the protection awarded to other England players that spring to mind, that is


  18. nay mandy, if he gets injured by a bad tackle it will be Wenger’s fault

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Very true, Wenger no doubt has this cunning plan to have his players shoved into advertising hoardings when in mid air, and bribes Paddy McNair to do his best to break Jacks ankle, right in front of the ref who he has also bribed to do nothing.
    The architect in Wenger I am sure has also strategically designed camera pits at Norwich. He does this so he doesn’t win anything of course, or anything major I should qualify.
    Amazing who some of them blame.

    Liked by 4 people

  20. Got a good Northern ref for the Everton game, Untold have done their preview, they can be uncannily accurate, just hope they are not this time.



  21. We,have no idea on Ozils plans, but hope this blatant media attempt to demonise him is ignored by the supporters, hopefully forever, but at least until we know more, a lot more

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Bottom line is this was three points gained away from home in a presumably ‘hostile’ environment with a B team performing sufficiently well to justify the resting of the A team ahead of Goodison.

    Coq looks up to beckon a trainer on and has clearly offended some in so doing. A thoroughly deserved second yellow or are we back in “wanted it more” territory?

    The problem for me in watching UEFA games is my ignorance of the majority of foreign sides – I have no idea how to rate them and can only take the win and the 3 points at face value.

    Which, until the next time, I will happily do.

    Liked by 6 people

  23. Having watched the clip above the referee is in shot and can see the action better than from the viewer’s camera angle so there is no reason to think the second yellow card would not have been produced. What got my attention, as Andrew referred to above, is that FQ hits the ground and is holding his face, then looks up apparently sends a message and uses hand gestures to get what he means across (can you work it out?) But then goes back to his face down and hands to head original position and a man seriously injured by an opponent.

    There is some of that sequence that I don’t follow.


  24. And had it been Eden Hazard or Alvaro Morato I know which way the benefit of my doubt would have gone.


  25. Anyone like to volunteer for the match preview?


  26. The muse has ran off with the kids and the new tennis coach, sorry to say George.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. I think we may have to ease a few youngsters into the squad George – I am off to the Lake District on Monday for five days so the Norwich Cariboo game may need a post game scribe

    Liked by 1 person

  28. I read that Marco Silva is doing well… followed by the fact he is set to replace AW… I recall many before him;
    one day he will be replaced but the fact that any young manager doing well after some games but be set to replace him? hmm.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. this one did make me laugh… really. Saw it on BBC live text

    Alastair McCollum: I wonder how Troy Deeney’s cojones are feeling right now…

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Well the empty headed merse is suggesting Everton should have put in a 70 million pound bid in the summer for big Oli, I wonder how much he thinks Everton should bid in January.
    If the toffees owners coff up 100 mill I might consider it as much as I love Giroud and want him to overtake Alan Smith in the goalscoring charts.
    Of course if we then sell Sanchez, Ozil, uncle Tom cobbley and all we will have shit loads of money to buy load’s of players and win the league and all the cups.
    That’s how it works right……in a wobs wonderland.

    Liked by 4 people

  31. Even if the game has not ended, WOW! what a scoreline

    Posted at 15:33
    GOAL – Huddersfield 2-0 Manchester United
    Laurent Depoitre


  32. TeamSpirit – Huddersfield turning in an entertaining scoreline and oh dear, what’s all this at Stoke?

    Watching the death of a thousand accumulators is always fun of a Saturday, especially where those two are concerned.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Team Spirit,

    — “Alastair McCollum: I wonder how Troy Deeney’s cojones are feeling right now…” Yeeeuk! No thanks.

    Altho — each to his own.

    Liked by 2 people

  34. Well, shame on you Anicoll;

    — “I am off to the Lake District on Monday for five days” — shame on you sir — one would expect you to have at least arranged a locum for your duties in your absence for the Naarich game!! lol

    Liked by 4 people

  35. Wonder if Utd will be subject to any Troy Deeney type comments?

    Liked by 2 people

  36. Jose interview now
    ‘We deserved it’ (losing).
    ‘Huddersfield wanted it more’, ‘team played the game of their lives’
    ‘We played against an incredible wind in the 2nd half’.


  37. I keep saying: Maureen is a tart!

    Hudds played well – and deserved to win — of course we played against an incredible wind in the 2nd half —– (not that Huddersfield played against it in the 1st half.

    Definitely a tart. — maybe even a jam tart.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Arsenal U18’s lost 2-0 away to LCFC today, a very inexperienced team was fielded by AFC due to players been rested for an U23 game on Monday, with many regular U23’s expected to be in the first team squad on Tuesday for the CC game v Norwich

    Several of our U16’s made their debut for the U18’s today.

    Arsenal U18s v Leicester: Okonkwo; Daley-Campbell, Spencer-Adams, Ballard, Thompson; Smith, Azeez; Swanson, Flaherty, Martin; Saka.
    Subs: Graczyk, Musah, Dennis, Agbontohoma.

    by the way 6 youths – Nelson, Joe Willock, Nketiah, Dasilva, McGuane, Sheaf – have made their first team debuts so far this season, last season only 1 youth made their debut – chris willock

    Liked by 1 person

  39. 11 fit outfield Arsenal first team players were rested midweek,

    Kosciellny, Mertesacker, Monreal, Bellerin, Ramsey, Xhaka, Kolasinac, Ozil, Lacazette, Alexis and Iwobi, which one will not get to start tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. just the 7 debuts for our 18 team today, U16 players Miguel Azeez, Stan Flaherty, Josh Martin and Arthur Okonkwo were in the starting 11, while Yunus Musah, Matthew Dennis and David Agbontohoma also made their debut coming on as subs

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Watching MOTD for the first time in a year

    Did you realise Citeh are the best team ever in PL history?

    Nor did I

    Liked by 4 people

  42. Love Jermaine Jenas though

    A list goes up of teams making most passes in games in PL this season – top is Citeh on 718 – 2nd is AFC on 609

    Look at that says Jermaine – more than 100 more passes than any rival – and that just proves passing wins football matches

    No one pointed out to the dopey couch filler that Citeh have played one game more

    As for our passing statistics winning football matches ?

    Liked by 5 people

  43. Not really a straight line formula

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Bloody hell, are city even better than Tottenham, MOTD are really saying something there.
    Hope events at Huddersfield put into context a bad result for us last weekend. Think I remember SAF saying strange things happen in the early seasons months before November

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Andy I can’t see what difference you going away makes to your post game review just write before the game like most of the red top hacks

    Liked by 7 people

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