Arsenal: The Fall of Fate


Good morning Positives,

So … another international break, another fortnight to ponder the knowns v unknowns of our chosen sport, the carefully laid plans, the freaks of opportunity and of fortune, the strengths and weaknesses of character, and a reluctant acceptance of Fate. After Super Sunday, Meditative Monday.

Of yesterday’s match I felt that we were beaten by a better side on the day. The movement of Citeh’s front four, especially Sane, with their strings pulled by Silva pulled us apart on several occasions and the half time score probably was a little generous to us. We have very good players, the equivalent quality to De Bruyne, Aguero and Sterling, and later Jesus, but yesterday they created more chances, and better chances. Fortunately their finishing was fairly shite.

I make no criticism of our defenders or keeper. I think Francis Coquelin put in a good shift in a role that he had no experience and probably no idea he would be playing in until the aircraft took off. Kosc and Nacho played well and Sead was, in my opinion, probably our best player. His battle with Walker was a great contest.

I do not think that Sanchez playing up front on his own worked. Had Danny been fit it may have been the card to play but the Chilean did not settle to the task, and our shape was ragged.

I think after 56 minutes with the introduction of Lacazette we looked a far more effective operation and for the first time forced Citeh on to the back foot. Suddenly Alexis looked confident and effective, Mesut and Rambo gained half a yard. Suddenly, and by no means against the run of play, we were RIGHT BACK IN IT.

I really fancied that in the final 10-15 minutes of the game that the home side, having had a hard game at Naples in the week, would be there for for the taking as fatigue set in. Fool that I am.

Alas however whatever ‘could’ have been achieved with our team properly balanced we shall never know as a third home goal intervened. After the third went in we did not get the upper hand again in the final 20 minutes. I sympathise with the anger and frustration of the players. A clear error by the linesman that could have been resolved in seconds by the VAR. But we are where we are. We won’t be where we are in two years time, but no doubt there will be other obstacles that crop up in due course. I shall rant at the moon ( again).

The Totties up next- exactly the opponent required.  Let’s make sure the officials know which way to twist the knife.


Not a cloud in the sky this morning nor a breath of wind moving the trees. See above. Enjoy your week.

211 comments on “Arsenal: The Fall of Fate

  1. It does see to me Rich referees seem much more willing to give a penalty on what they think they have seen and Mr Lahoz last night was distinctly old skool.

    At the risk of being the old bore in the corner of the saloon bar ( again) back in the day penalties for hand ball we given only if a player really did stick his hand out and deliberately stop the ball. It was very rare, even if suspected that an arm had got in the way, to point to the spot unless the ref saw clear intention. It may only be my impression but far fewer penalties were awarded.

    I think it has gone a bit too much the other way today with penalties awarded for the most innocuous of hand or arm contact that requires X5 replays from X3 different angles to decide on. Referees are looking fo evidence not to point to the spot.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. And my congratulations to Gianluigi Buffon for his gesture last night during the Swedish national anthem;

    Liked by 3 people

  3. “Legend” is a description tossed around carelessly in football but Buffon is a LEGEND – what a career

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Mike Dean for the NLD? Ha!


  5. My God! Even I forgot my own findings. A 206% increase in Penalties-Against Arsenal over 20 years. Something is rotten in the PGMO, if not in Denmark. And not a peep from the supposedly eagle-eyed journos and pundits in the Mainstream Media nor from their little puppets publishing blogs and tweets.

    Thanks AndyNic. You are so gracious.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. anicoll

    Surely not your imagination there are more pens these days. Saw a stat not long ago about gigantic- about double I think- increase in champions league penalties over relatively short period (between 5-10, I think)

    Think prem has been more stable and fluctuated more, but still an increase and, I expect, big increase from further back.

    Pure common sense that in such a low-scoring sport the importance of penalties is huge and therefore refs (and assistants) should be extra certain before awarding one.

    That in itself is a powerful argument why VAR- no panacea but should see an overall improvement- is a good thing and overdue.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. It seems that if Spurs win this weekend, both Stan and Wenger, and perhaps even Ivan, despite their investments in years, and money will just pack up and leave, if some are to be believed that is,
    so they are telling the world how they back our opponents in this game.
    Nothing like attention seeking

    Liked by 2 people

  8. “Unlike Arsène Wenger, Harry Redknapp recruited superbly at Tottenham Hotspur last summer with Brad Friedel, Scott Parker and Emmanuel Adebayor (on loan) slotting in immediately.”

    Here’s one from the vaults;


    Liked by 4 people

  9. Sweden also defended well from the little I saw of the match.

    Lots of getting it wide and failing to get it exactly right whilst in the mixer (luck)

    Two lines of five in the Swedish area at times ( most of the time?)
    Italy’s problem was they lacked the world’s best playmaker (“Plan A”) and if that wasn’t firing they also didn’t have the world’s leading target man, scorer of goals more beautiful then his own reflection as a secondary option (we can call this one “Plan B”).

    In conclusion:
    Italy are a Shambles™



  10. Argentina 2-4 Nigeria – Iwobi scored 2 goals in a man of the match performance

    Germany 2-2 France – Ozil with an assist for Germany, Lacazette with the 2 goals for France

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Gunners up and down doing well…
    Specially proud of Iwobi! No doubt double partisan… Naija and Arsenal

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Imagine the hype if Alli and “World Class” Kane had just scored two goals each against Argentina and Germany (that’d be the World Champions) like Iwobi & Laca (yep there’d be that much hype even though they were just friendlies).
    The Sky Sports panel would be foaming out of their nostrils.

    This Lacazette, he’s not bad eh? Some may have thought that AFC had missed out to the big spenders on Moratta but the more we see of the Lyon star the better he looks – slightly older, he’s the finished package whilst Moratta still needs to develop, clearly AFC are Shambles™
    Did I ever mention that I’m an expert in PR (which before the expression PR was invented was helpfully referred to as ‘propaganda’?)…how can you not tell?

    I’m sure I’m not the only one who found the Grittish plundits comments regarding Ozil during these football matches to be, as they say, “clucking weird” almost as if these people have some kind of “PR” brief against the Arsenal employee. At least very very, seriously strange. Slightly psychotic even…

    Liked by 3 people

  13. We have the reality tv show president.

    Isn’t it time we had a reality tv show football club. It would return that X Factor to the modern game, that missing ingredient. Why campaign for safe standing when you are desperate to have a part time column in a bankrupt rag that no one is prepared to buy?
    Who needs jumpers for goalposts when you have a selfie stick and are “Against Modern Football”?

    What could be call this amazing football club?

    FC Blagga?
    They play in the same stadium as FC Braga (the mountain /end stand makes for a great background to the tv cameras and presenters).
    Karen Brady could be in charge of the entire haemorrhaging operation, sorry I mean the re-signing of players like Luiz *nudge nudge wink wink*
    As long as she doesn’t sign Zaza or some other comedian whilst tweeting about signing Romario/Bacca etc. and only listens to the aforementioned Experts and Plundits and the sporting agencies that are their primary employers I can’t imagine anything going wrong.

    A team managed & coached by only the best plundits, with players selected from a collection of very very important blaggers and twitter accounts. You’ve seen the footage of Rodgers at Liverpool coaching Sterling, that would be nothing compared to this mine of gold.

    If people are prepared to watch The Dream Team how could this not be a success?

    Liked by 3 people

  14. <
    Have I just described the Premier League under the life of Riley?

    IBSF & lots & lots of L.O.L.'s


  15. I’m going in hospital tomorrow. Behave yourselves while I’m away.


  16. rejoice with me positivistas, i welcome my first child into my life yesterday. a baby girl!

    Liked by 6 people

  17. hope you’re alright george.


  18. Layksite

    You are blessed!


  19. PG

    I hope all goes well.


  20. PG, trust it is a brief visit? stay healthy please and be in touch…


  21. Layksite

    maximum Congrats and maximum grace to parent… a great joy everydy but no mean feat!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Best wishes George

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Congratulations Layksite!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Congrats Layksite.

    Thinking of you PG.

    You too, Shotta.


  25. Congrats Layksite. Olorun a wo o.

    Come back strong PG…we have trophies to celebrate!..bless


  26. Great news Layksite.

    Best wishes George, I hope things go well for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Congratulations Layksite.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. George, hope nowt serious and back to keep an eye on us soon.

    If good behaviour means not moaning too much about Dean if he pulls a number on us, I can promise nothing

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Great news Layks- a special special day

    And pecker up George – make it a swift hospital stay

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Arsene Wenger has revealed the latest team news ahead of Saturday’s north London derby against Tottenham at Emirates Stadium.

    The boss provided updates on the likes of Laurent Koscielny, Olivier Giroud and Shkodran Mustafi.

    This is what he said:

    on if everyone returned fit and healthy from their international games…
    We still have some people coming in today. They’ll have a medical check today and a recovery check.

    on the rest of the team news…
    Mustafi will have a final check [on Friday], Welbeck as well. I’ll make decisions on all of them [on Friday].

    on Koscielny being rested in midweek for France…
    It was needed for him. We couldn’t use him for a number of games, he just came back against City because he had an Achilles tendon injury. If he had played in midweek, he certainly would not have been available for Saturday.

    on Olivier Giroud…
    Olivier picked up an injury, and I don’t think he will be available for Saturday. It is short term and he should start [training] on Monday, we will have to assess him then but I don’t think he will be available this weekend.

    Read more at https://www.arsenal.com/news/team-news-koscielny-giroud-and-mustafi#Vb4h05EsQTHjf523.99

    Read more at https://www.arsenal.com/news/team-news-koscielny-giroud-and-mustafi#gOhEh6zY5EclosyX.99


  31. Andrew Beasley‏Verified account @BassTunedToRed

    The top ten teams that Mike Dean has refereed the most times. Why doesn’t he give Arsenal penalties?!

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Reports that Arsenal’s Chief Scout Steve Rowley is talk with the club over him stepping down from his role, with the possibility that he will still do some scouting for the club, and that AFC are in talks with Borussia Dortmund chief scout, Sven Mislintat, to take over from Rowley.


  33. I’m out, minus one gallbladder. Thanks for the kind wishes. Feel like shit but job done.

    Liked by 6 people

  34. I knew Doris Day in buckskin was too much

    Liked by 1 person

  35. I hope all is well with my pal George. I can identify with his hospitalization.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Just saw George’s post. Hip, Hip, Hooray. You left your gallbladder in the hospital. I left my appendix. Bloofy useless appendages according to the surgeons just before they cut you open.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Eddy – That table showing how good old Mike Dean loves giving a penalty to Chelsea, 12 vs Arsenal, 3 hasn’t elicited a response so far. Hmm.

    Liked by 3 people

  38. and shotta Man utd 16 in 2 less games

    jeez he has even given west brom over double – 7, in only 2/3 the amount of games, you know that oh so attack minded west brom,

    only 3 penalties to AFC from Dean, and he has from memory so far given spurs 2 at our place

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Dean awards a penalty on average to

    Man utd every 4 games
    Chelsea every 5 1/4 games
    Spurs every 5 1/2 games
    Newcastle every 5 1/2 games
    Man city every 6 games
    Aston Villa every 6 games
    West Brom every 6 games
    West Ham every 7 games

    Arsenal every 21 games

    Liked by 3 people

  40. Saw those stats on twitter today Ed.

    Pretty sure they don’t come from an Arsenal fan either.

    (Seems the guy is a Liverpool supporter who, in work capacity, was preparing a little stats piece for Paddy Power ahead of the game, and presumably just sort of stumbled upon the numbers and found them bizarre)

    That figure becomes truly appalling when you think Oliver has given 4 against us in last 5 games he’s done- including the supreme offensive units (we don’t get em because we don’t attack enough or in right way or something) of Bournemouth and Palace.

    Or, even worse, the rate Riley himself used to give them to Utd. 12 in 23. 10 in 14 home games. 7 in one 5 game period.


    Riley’s a crook. Dean’s his favourite lieutenant.

    Liked by 5 people

  41. thanks everyone. i’ve really been busy. i guess thats how it is to be a dad! love you all.

    Aman, amin o. adupe o

    Liked by 2 people

  42. well for us to get to the same ratio of penalties as even the lowest on that list, West Ham, with a one in 7 game ratio, Mike Dean would have to give us 6 Penalties on Saturday, so just double his entire amount, I’m sure some are scurrying around to find a doubtful penalty we were awarded in recent years so as to diminish the Dean stats. Maybe Pires against Portsmouth, as that is usually wheeled out to counter any AFC penalty complaint.

    Liked by 2 people

  43. Ed

    Pretty mad to think Liverpool got three pens in one game against Utd a couple of seasons back.

    Football has enough randomness in it, and refs are human enough, etc that it’s not entirely impossible for there to legitimately be three pens in one game and only three in another 63 with a different ref, but, fuck me, it’s improbable.

    In a hundred thousand possible universes/ iterations of this one, all with clean refs, I suppose it could happen that way a handful of times. It’s in the nature of chance and randomness to throw up rare oddities.

    A lot more likely is that a pattern has emerged, for reasons unknown, whereby refs find it very easy to award pens against us for any half-decent or stronger claim, and very easy to reject any similar claims for us.

    Liked by 2 people

  44. Just read the UA preview for Dancin Dean and co in this game, all I can say is that i hope they are not as unerringly accurate in their predictions as they often are, and that this game is about the players, not about the officials or their errors.. About football, rather than diving and penalties.
    Mr Dean clearly does not like giving us pens, and conversely, Spurs have been given dodgy pens in the last two NLDs.
    We shall see, our players are going to need to be committed, clinical, streetwise, patient, well organised if they do end up facing 12 men, including two of the worst, and least punished- English- divers going, and a manager with a mission after serial diver Michael Owen once did him in a WC game.

    Liked by 2 people

  45. Live on the tele atm Ian Wright and some journo having penal discussion. They say Arsenal might have won 3 FA Cups last 4 years but it means nothing as “fans are feeling empty inside”. While Spurs’, who have won nothing, “fans feel fulfilled inside”. And that’s what make them a better side because football is all about emotion.

    He also say Özil had a bad game vs England and the only reason had a good one vs France is because the French players “pretend he wasn’t there”, leaving him with space to play. Talking all kinda crap how Wenger doesn’t set up for particular opposition and players, only send the team out to play one way with no “plan B” if it goes wrong.

    Christ! He sounds stupid. Is a pay cheque really worth giving up his soul and self-respect?

    Liked by 3 people

  46. Ian Wright is a sporting agent before he is a plundit.

    Ozil is a superstar of the modern game, copied by kids all over the world, playing for a club that ignores such agents as best they can, and I think he himself doesn’t use third party agents, at least not the “Neymar” model which could and possibly already has bankrupted nations (could be wrong!), or even saved them from bankruptcy (let’s just say it involved a lot of wonga!).

    I can literally identity hundreds of millions of reasons why he gets a bad press from certain press .

    Liked by 2 people

  47. layksite, congrats bro. Happy for you man! Your little one is a gift from God.

    Thank God you are well, George.


  48. I’m on the mend Paul, but don’t feel at all well.


  49. Rich the explanation is Mike Riley is the Refs boss, just remember how he used to screw us over and it makes how refs treat us now understandable


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