Arsenal: Easing Through


skysports-jack-wilshere-arsenal_4132527.jpgGood morning sons and daughters of the Positive persuasion,

I would say a measured step into the “Round of 32” of the Europa League achieved with minimum fuss last night. We expected a positive result, we got the result we needed. The A team v B team format in PL and Cup competitions is working very well indeed in my opinion. The B team combination of young players adding to their experienced, returnees from long term injury and players more used to bench duties were more than enough to overcome Serbians without an obvious ‘star’ anywhere in the pitch, red of otherwise.

Make no mistake though, Red Star were a difficult, professional opponent. Like us they came wanting a result and they got the result they wanted.

There was some frustration even at my end that we did not manage to overcome the Belgrade bus approach the adopted in the second half and score but hey ho. I managed not to break out into barrage of booing when referee Banti finally closed proceedings. I am assured on Twitter that a good booing and a collective tut-tutting is good for players’ development. I am not convinced.

Of our lads well done to Matt Macey for two good first half saves. He has waited for four years to even get on the pitch in a serious game for the club. Four years for a guy just past his 23rd birthday must be an age , or it was as far as I can remember. It must be satisfying to know that all the hard work and energy Matt has put into training finally made a difference on the pitch.

I thought Jack had an excellent second half and he and Reiss Nelson running at the visitors defensive line with the ball at their feet seemed the most likely way we would eventually prise them open. And when Jack tumbled to the pitch or was on the end of a hard Balkan boot up he jumped. Interesting performance from Elneny who appeared to be all over the pitch for the final 30 minutes, managing to come back three, roving midfielder and even striker at one point as striker on the edge of the 6 yard box. Did Mo decide to do that or did Arsene just tell him to “express himself” ? AMN also deserves a mention for a decent evening and a good second half. I am still not sure he is a wing back but there is no lack of effort on his part.

A rather different set of problems will face Arsenal at the Etihad on Sunday, and  game I am thorough looking forward to. We will however be addressing them with an almost entirely different set of tools.


Brevity is the soul of wit so enjoy your Friday.


36 comments on “Arsenal: Easing Through

  1. I imagine it was not for lack of effort that we did not score…. glad we are through and will likely lead the group with our present 5 pts advantage, we can surely muster 1 pt from the last 2 games even if red star win their last 2 matches…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Last night’s 1st half saw neither Theo nor Jack doing anything to promote their England (let alone Arsenal) chances whereas both Macey and Nelson did. 2nd half improvement for Jack but he’s started holding on for too long. That’s what’s been keeping him injured all the time.
    Not one for the memory so let’s make good on Sunday.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Who ever said “Brevity is the soul of wit”
    has never listened to Stewart Lee or Tim Vine

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Well done on extracting so much good from that game A5.

    The kids can feel extremely proud of themselves for steering Arsenal safely through to the next round with relative ease. To paraphrase Fins: Jack and even Matt Debuchy’s pre-season and rehabilitation are now complete. That was what this groups stages of the Europa was all about. Hopefully we’ll see Chambers and Mustafi get the same rehab in the last 2 rounds of group stage fixtures.

    Getting psyched for our trip to Abu Dhabi!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Without a doubt the kids done good. It is difficult to play against a side intent on breaking up the game so much that their physio got their MOTM and highest distance covered in the match. We have seen the invincibles struggle against such tactics and we see the youngsters struggle again last night, it makes it especially difficult when the ref is so poor that he didn’t even make players leave the pitch when the physio had been on.
    The lino on my side of the pitch didn’t make one decision all night and just kept looking to the ref even for throws he was so crap I suspected he was a programme seller who stepped in at the last minute.
    AMN is a right footed CMidfielder so to play as left wing back as well as he did should attract so credit unfortunately we have so many challotons following our team.
    The other fact is if you are able to boo any ARSENAL side let alone one made up of b players and youngsters you are not a supporter and should never class yourself as such.
    Amazingly a bloke behind me last night sat sidewards talking to his Mrs slagging off everybody without even watching most of the match. You can bet your life he be the sort of bloke who will say but I’m a season ticket holder of course I’m a proper supporter, well no your not sit and talk to your Mrs at home and give your ticket back to the club so someone who wants to watch the lads can have it.
    I do think the west ham may be a game to far for last night’s team but fixtures may not allow many changes

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Just seen the photo of the Saint’s blessed and yes World Class foot.


    The crowd have loved him the most in recent years, from the off, took a while for the expert blaggers out there to work out why and express their understanding of his importance (actually not until he was out with the injury).

    Fortunately I remember Hugh Wizzy who is unashamededly a hack and therefore far more bearable then the more pretentious blagging vampires out there stopping Cazorla to talk to him for his vlog and all he said was:
    “thank you for coming to Arsenal, it’s been amazing having you at the club, don’t ever leave!”

    I for one am grateful that there were people telling Cazorla, at the time, how much he was admired. Not all the blaggers are unbearable, just 99% of ’em!

    We’ve reached the point where the blaggers are celebrating Tottenham’s biggest night since they became record fa cup holders in 1991, whilst ignoring the result from May when AFC became the record fa cup holders…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The slip by the Red Star goalkeeper was not due to an overwatered pitch, he’d just been watching videos of Alli, and was following his manager’s instruction!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Hope the team can doff their caps to the good Saint and pay tribute to his masterclass when they go to visit the 8th Emirate, the corporatist petrogarchy/colony.

    And slay the gas breathing dragon/demon.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. “a measured step into the “Round of 32”.

    Yes, and a beautifully measured review, I must say. Thanks a5.

    Ianspace, your review is excellent too.

    For those so inclined the bbc are showing highlights of the FkCup final, from 4 until 7:30 pm, on the Red button channel. (Channel 601 Freeview). In 30 minutes slots on a loop (There must be a better way of saying that).

    I’d particularly like anyone watching to check out 11mins into the highlights. Moses has been sent off. The ball comes to Ozil, Luiz fouls Mesut 2 or 3 times – with the ref having an unobstructed view when the fouling started. 6 passes later the ball is in the Ars net. 1-1.

    “David Luiz, quickly in, smartly in, fairly in”, enthused the comm’tor.
    If you watch you’ll know there’s no exaggeration in saying ‘Ars are constantly screwed over’, or, let me know why I’ve got it completely wrong. Go on.

    Many, many goals against Arsenal happen when the opposition foul our players and the ref just doesn’t see it (hahahahahahahahahahaha).

    Remember that game at the Ems where Danny scored at the end, then leap-frogged into the crowd? Well, Leicester got an equaliser after Morgan? had jumped on top of Ozil to stop him controlling the ball. Dear ref saw nought wrong (same as when Alonso knocked out Hector with a forearm smash, cos ee wanted it more innit like), & that, folks, is a couple of ways ‘how it’s done’. (Of course every time OG12 plays the defenders just stand close & batter him).

    A strange thing last night, watching the match at a mates home, the co-commentator, an American, was quite reasonable throughout the broadcast, almost giggling when the 1st penalty shout was ignored, and almost implying the ref was getting stuff wrong! !?!
    He expressed some curiosity that Giroud was called for a foul when ‘he’d jumped higher than his opponent’. Which I enjoyed hearing, as usually the comms are talking shite when Ars players get fouled, and they don’t break stride (unless chortling).

    Tut muchly.

    Liked by 6 people

  10. While I’m r*nting, even without seeing the Santi’s foot, I can’t help but wonder if the start of that injury came when playing against WBA at their “home”. You know, when they injured both Santi & Coq, constantly stamping on Carzola (although he didn’t leave the field). Mark the move away for more moneyref ignored the WB players digging up the penalty spot – until he moved the ball to a place where Santi ended up slipping when taking said penalty. Well done clatters – you oversaw more of our players getting injured whilst simultaneously ensuring a negative result. Let’s have a smile. There. Everything’s all right now.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Ranty it’s good to rant sometimes.

    Especially when it’s a fact that AFC players receive less protection in this league then their peers.

    Look at the negative coverage towards AFC for playing U19s against the former European Champs in a week when the hacks were worried about young players not getting the minutes: I’m not making up this amusing an observable paradox, people are literally full of it.

    Just as the screeching about the End of an Era goes into another repetitive cycle AW takes it to another level whilst playing his league cup youth team in the Europa League. Legendary scenes. Someone at UEFA is not amused. Did they not like that?

    Liked by 4 people

  12. For Santi though it was this infection that was the true horror. 8cm off his tendon! Tell me it ain’t so…


  13. Unfortunately Santi developed osteomyelitis which is an infection of the bone that can occur during surgery, as I think happened here, or if an open fracture is the cause of the original injury. It is bad luck as the infection usually carried by the person themselves. It can be fatal and amputation is a real risk.

    I remember this being reported in May/June around the time of the Cup final and it looked fairly grim then. Poor bugger.

    Liked by 4 people

  14. fins

    I didn’t realise Ars are getting negative coverage for playing youngsters (although it’s nothing new or unusual). It can’t be just a few of us (supporters of any club) who bask in joy at watching da yout dem starting out and making their ways up the footy ladder.

    I remember Ian Wright coming on and scoring those 2 goals for Palace in the FkCup.
    I was beside myself with excitement. Who’s this geezer. He’d do well at Arsenal, blah blah.
    Eddie N evoked similar feelings with his 2 goals, except I knew about him for some time. We have more chances to see youts these days (as have the press, despite them reporting Ars fans didn’t know who he is – whilst the crowd are shouting Eddie, Eddie)?
    (EN61. Doesn’t have a ring about it. We’ll stick with Eddie, Eddie).

    I love the way Ars’s English players are coming through, and the players from abroad (Bolton, Cheshire, etc)

    Sorry Theo, Jack & Danny, but I don’t want you playing for England at present. You have to realise that just because you all made the England team tick, playing actual football, during the early WC qualies, (or was it during the Euro qualies)?, your inclusion into the games were oft called as failures, so it’s better you just rest up from & for the Ars games you play. I bet England peeps told Ox he’d get more playing time with them by moving to scouseland, and good luck to him (smirks).

    I do like fins descriptions of 3-lion (and others) ineptitude.

    Sunday will be interesting. COYG

    Liked by 4 people

  15. Joe Willock has signed a new long-term contract with the club.

    The 18-year-old made his first-team debut in our Carabao Cup win over Doncaster Rovers in September.

    He has since made four more first-team appearances this season, playing in our Europa League away wins in Borisov and Belgrade, featuring in our Carabao Cup triumph over Norwich City last month, as well as starting Thursday night’s draw with Red Star Belgrade.

    The midfielder was named in the England Under-19 squad yesterday as they begin their European Championship defence in Bulgaria next week.

    We would all like to congratulate Joe on his new deal, and look forward to his continued progress with the club.

    Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to http://www.arsenal.com as the source.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Arsenal Women are set to appoint Australian coach Joe Montemurro as their new manager, following the departure of Pedro Martinez Losa.

    Montemurro, 48, is assistant coach of A-League side Melbourne City.

    Last season he led Melbourne City Women to the W-League title in their first year of existence, finishing the campaign unbeaten.

    Spaniard Losa left the Gunners on 25 October after spending three years in charge of the side.

    Assistant coach Ismael Garcia is in temporary charge of the Women’s Super League One club.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Someone needs to write a blog in defence of our business model.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Öle Gunner‏
    Following Following @OleGunner
    Replying to @GardenStGooners @arseblagger
    A lot of hypocrisy with people claiming to be advocating for better governance when all they want is to collapse governance in a sugar daddy
    3:35 AM – 4 Nov 2017

    Liked by 3 people

  19. Gotta mention tweet I saw the other day from a good sensible fan.

    Said he was sat by someone last game who, to paraphrase, ‘shouted ”pass forward” constantly through game; then angrily shouted whenever a riskier or difficult pass forward didn’t come off’

    I liked hearing it directly as it’s been obvious for ages to me that there’s a particular type of bad fan who sees the game this way, the type who finds it boring and finds huge fault when we can’t break down massed ranks, but who apparently lacks any understanding of:

    (a) the difficulties inherent to that particular task (b) the reasons why at the very least you have to play a lot of passes, including sideways and back, as you attempt to do so, and (c) the fact that as you attempt to do this, at some point a harder and riskier pass almost always needs to be attempted, which by its nature is more/much more likely to fail than a simpler pass.

    If you don’t understand those simple things, you absolutely can’t understand football.

    This could be benign if the non-understander had a policy of supporting the team whatever (i.e even when convinced they are playing crap), or of having a healthy scepticism about their own powers (of observation,etc); but, although it’s possible a combination like that exists (and either remains quiet or says things contrary to what they believe/see) it is far,far more likely they will frequently or relentlessly be noisily negative.

    So I had it handily confirmed there’s at least one of these cretins in the stadium; the big question is how many of them are there? And how many is enough to have a harmful effect on players, or rather on any players who do not have rock solid confidence?

    I think of Coquelin trying to play his best in a stadium where such fans are unfortunately having an impact and huge amounts of people have decided you are shit and wait for the next mistake to confirm it again; it puts me about as close to being in a players boots as I’ve ever felt, but not in a good way: stress is what I imagine; knowing you can do ten tidy bits of play but if you get one thing wrong, or attempt a tougher pass and fail, the groans come, the tweets fly, and the pressure intensifies on you.

    Liked by 5 people

  20. Another rare opportunity to big up the sons and daughters of positive pesuasion (hat tip to Andy Nic). Hoping to be back in the fray in late November or early December. Fingers and toes crossed.

    Liked by 4 people

  21. Some of our fans are a bit shit and a bit thick.
    We are through, learning curves are being accelerated, players are getting a chance to play, and who knows, might even win this one.
    As for Cazorla, can only wish him well, surely one of the finest to wear the shirt in recent years. Really hope to see him playing again.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. “Brevity is the soul of wit”


    Liked by 1 person

  23. Umm — brevity, eh? I heard no laughter — but mayhap I am bonkers.

    some may assay me bonkers:
    Bonkers, you say, Anicoll; so, to define me as truly bonkers then,
    What is’t but to be nothing else but bonkers?
    But let’s let that go.

    HenryB Shakespeare

    Liked by 1 person

  24. As I see it, there’s nowt so puzzling as fans.

    We drew the game against Red Hot Star – went top of the group — stay there and none of the CL drop outs, like Atletico Madrid, or our Nemesis of recent times – Dortmund – will clutter our path in the ‘draw’ stage of the competition. All Good – say I.

    But no — many fans bemoaned the manner in which we drew that game;
    “The more experienced layabouts from the first team bench, were pathetic.
    The ‘in-betweenies’ like Holding and Elneny seemed dejected, lacking in confidence, and were worse than useless.
    And as for the youthful members of the team — well they need to be blooded in a worthwhile loan somewhere — anywhere — just not in the Europa — they are too fond of step-overs, aimless dribbling, and far too full of themselves. That performance was a shambles.”

    OK – so what if we put on a great performance – however that is defined — and lost.
    And – we did not go comfortably top, had our confidence rocked, and as a result lost the top spot in our remaining matches, and thus were drawn against one of the superior CL drop-downs? Would that be OK?

    It seems – not! No, what is required, it seems, is a brilliant performance from a scratch team with a few experienced players and a whole bunch of aspirational but very inexperienced youth players. Is that reasonable? Or is there more than a tad of cranky irrationality behind what is an oblique attack on the manager and the club.

    Not for me to say — but I am sure, dear reader, (if there is one such) that you are quite capable of making up your own mind, and in doing so, help to redress the balance away from the complexity of the desires of those aforementioned, puzzling fans.

    Liked by 3 people

  25. Two seasons ago West Ham were not bad
    Last season they deteriorated but at least played football and managed the occasional good result
    WH are bloody awful and getting worse so far this season

    Goodbye Bilic

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Welbeck and Chambers were in training today

    Liked by 2 people

  27. anicoll

    Yeah, that’ll be that for Bilic. Expecting a speedy announcement

    One huge factor is surely the stadium change. Losing that tight intense atmosphere for something very different, and quite likely they’ve been forced to play on a bigger pitch,too.

    I’m looking at you Spurs!!

    Back to West Ham tho and I’m sort of pre-loaded with irritation as I think ahead to them coming and fully parking the bus for the cup game.

    Times I’ve seen them this year there have been ridiculous gaps to exploit with them, but it’s quite common, or at least feels it, to see teams who are leave big gaps even against our top four rivals to go all-in on deep defence against us.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. thot Billic was one of those meant to replace AW.. that young progressive…. fill in the blanks

    seems there is something risky about being touted o replace AW beofre he is set to depart?

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Arse H. Neuman‏ @grocanon 8h8 hours ago
    Replying to @arseblagger

    you can’t expect from a club to give up on its values to fit your own lack of values


  30. Like a lot of managers, most managers, in fact he is about to pay the price for some dreadful performances by players and some highly dubious signings. I have no idea what part he played in the Spammers wierd buying and selling patterns. He is the lightning rod though so when a sacrifice is required he has to go.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. FT Arsenal U18s 4-2 Wolverhampton Wanderers

    FT Arsenal U16s 3-2 Wolverhampton Wanderers

    Liked by 2 people

  32. but but but Anicol he was very good as a pundit on BBC during the last World Cup or was it the Euro’s

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Bilic was good on the tv you’re right

    Silver lining

    Liked by 2 people

  34. on mature reflection, he may not have been that good a pundit at all, it was just the rest of the dross pundits made him sound good

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Debuchy in the squad that traveled to Manchester

    Liked by 1 person

  36. new post up


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