Arsenal: Marching on to Wembley


Good Morning Arsenal Positive,

Another solid step for the B team last night against an ‘Ammers side who, on paper, looked strong enough. The players Moyes had picked wee good enough to win the tie and have had some good results recently, but never seemed to put in the 100% effort we saw from them a week ago. Maybe in the back of their minds the Premier League fixtures over Christmas were looming and on a Tuesday night they did not have another good performance in their tank. Complex creatures are footballers, very difficult to know what goes on between the ears.

However, not for a moment should the Ammers performance detract from what was good about our own lads. Danny poaching and eventually, after a dozen half chances buries it off his shin. Joe Willock (69) had a very good 85 minutes and Arse.com had his match stats up earlier to emphasise his effectiveness. (69 touches, 46 successful out of 50 passes, 4/5 dribbles, 3/3 long balls, 3 interceptions, 2/5 tackles, 1 key pass)

Callum Chambers and Holding were always too sharp for the West Ham strike force and Debuchy also took another step toward PL redemption. I am not sure if Sead will be fully fit enough for Liverpool but I suspect a Back 5 will return on Friday so I hope so.

Other than that not much to say. Another game, another hamstring, or two. Kevin Friend displayed the Christmas spirit to poor, poor Joe Hart. Another headless performance from the former England No1. Do you recall the fuss in the media a year ago when Pep dropped him and sent him off to Torino ? Well it is all quiet in the press box now.

Citeh slithered past Leicester, the red Mancs play Brissel and the Rent boys Bournemouth tonight so the most likely turn out of the top four teams in the country will face each other. The draw is after the end of tonight’s games, for those who are still awake. Whoever comes out of the hat it will be a hard two games for both sides.

Thanks to David Price  @priceyd101 for the top photo – Arsenal’s ‘other’ photographer with Stuart MacFarlane and always top quality. Love the night work.

Enjoy Wednesday.

42 comments on “Arsenal: Marching on to Wembley

  1. Hi Ian, I see we saw the game the same, although I managed only streams fading in and out, Arsenalist clips, R5 Live and Arseplayer.

    Technology eh ?

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Andy Nic has become really good at this match reporting lark. Entertaining, factual and educational. That used to be the job of mainstream media.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Andy could host Film 2018 , without watching the films

    Liked by 5 people

  4. A good win.

    Not so sure about 2nd half, but in first I thought West Ham were working hard and often had two or three in hot pursuit of whoever had the ball for us. That, combined with their deep defence and numbers ensured we’d have to work hard for chances.

    Theo’s big chance featured two brilliant passes. First from Coquelin then an absolute beauty of a cross from Kolasinac. Latter also put in another cross of real quality second half but nobody there that time.

    Felt their biggest threat for most of game was Chicarito, though only because of the sky high diving danger he posed. And lo, he almost managed to pull it off, but thankfully Friend made an excellent call. The combination of the prayer to the heavens and the constant diving of that guy has always been a nauseating one.

    I watched on a pretty small screen so couldn’t always tell if it was Chambers or Holding but both were bloody good, and though West ham couldn’t get much going in way of service to Carroll, a big tick for them dealing easily with what they did muster. At least a couple of times I though ‘oh oh, here goes’ as cross came for him, but he wasn’t allowed near it.

    Arnautovic also a dangerous opponent, but didn’t get a sniff.

    You’d hope those who have questioned line ups throughout cups would have noticed how well Maitland-Niles and Wilshere have been able to step in to prem team last two games, but that might be a stretch.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Some of our fans moaning about the match and that it was not swashbuckling entertainment. Some of these same fans really struggle with the concept that the game is won by putting the ball in the back of the net and you don’t get extra points for style and flair. We played with swashbuckling abandon against Utd and lost. I would be happy if we scraped over the line in out next 10 games because winning ugly is always better than losing with style and panache. Great read as always Andrew, top match review.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Carabao is not showing this side so I followed via text and dipping in and out of twitter just to check if there’s no “FFS” tweets as we was holding on to a slim lead. So your review was more welcomed this morning Andrew, thanks to Rich for adding bit more meat to it.

    All in all a good win and our kids and “reserves” did themselves proud this season for extending their run of games in the Carabao and Europa, they wouldn’t otherwise had got in the Premier League.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Winning with style and panache is the future.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. The Gooner Rev

    Commentator wouldn’t have helped if listening to same one as me. Very downbeat from off, as though there’s nothing of interest in tight games.

    I don’t expect him as a non fan to find the same level as interest as fans do in seeing, say, how Holding or Chambers,etc, are playing, but i would have thought it an essential part of the job to convey some enthusiasm, search out interesting aspects of game, etc.

    He was like a fast food addict who had been promised a KFC bucket but instead got a healthy nutritious meal.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Anyone nervous about Pool game by the way? Think it’s 3 on bounce which have gone badly against them, all in a similar way as their potent counter attacks have undone us.

    Very keen to see us show an awareness of the threat of that by showing extra caution in build up from back.

    On personnel front I thought Kola looked so good yesterday it had me questioning whether we should use an inexperienced kid instead of him, but then there’s fact Ainsley has done well and, crucially, has outstanding pace.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Never nervous Rich – they have a good set of attackers but a dodgy defence, if we play to our abilities we will put them away – no doubt in my mind.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I did not see the match or any highlights, so won’t comment.

    About the game against Pool, my only comment is that, provided we do not make mistakes at the back or in midfield, the chance of letting in goals will be reduced.

    So many of the goals conceded have come form loose passes by defenders or midfielders.

    No pass is better than a bad pass. That might explain why they seem to have been so unadventurous in recent games.

    May I take this opportunity to thank all contributors for so many interested posts and comments and to wish you all a happy holiday and a happy and healthy New Year, with lots of gunnerjoy.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. You’ve a hardier constitution than me tho Anicoll. I don’t rule out me getting there, or getting back there, again one day though.

    Began my supporting life never fearing an opponent and, weirdly perhaps, feeling no agonies in defeat, even coming away enthused by the first European game I saw against Benfica, who if I remember right seemed full of impressive skills and flair (with a striker who later went to Coventry and did little!). Wrexham was a bit tougher but I’m sure i handled that better than I would a disappointing draw these days!

    Doubt I can get back to there but I’d be better off if I could.

    I’m pretty sure we’ve been involved in two of the three most exciting prem games this year, probably the top two, with the Leicester and Utd games. Think there’s a very strong chance this one will be similarly electric and perhaps fairly damn crazy.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. “No pass better than a bad pass” sounds obvious but in football is wrong.
    Lose the ball by their corner flag and that’s not a problem make 4 average passes between CM and CBs and the press that pool use will be all over you.
    If we pass as slowly and lazy as we have been doing we will get caught out time and time again.
    Last night the midfielders were turning and passing forward whenever possible.
    The back four were missing people out making the passing quicker thus allowing more space and more time for the player receiving the ball

    Liked by 2 people

  14. On the subject of the twin imposters Rich I was always drawn to the story of Francis Bacon, whose enormous talent for painting was only matched by his huge obsession with gambling.

    He would routinely win and lose six figure sums at the casino or the card table, even a £ million on one occasion lost on a particularly heavy day when lady luck spurned him. For decades, though a highly successful artist, he lived on the edge of financial ruin, with debt collectors and various moneylender heavies always at the door.

    Bacon was asked once by an interviewer whether it was a “wonderful feeling” to win a £200,000-£300,000 on the turn of a card. He thought about it and admitted “Yes, it was a good feeling”

    He paused though and went on to say “And losing £200,000 or £300,000 is a pretty fucking wonderful feeling as well”.

    That always struck me as the right approach to the fear of failure.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Did anyone see the pen shout that West Ham had? Renowned adorer and paragon of the tippy tappy foreign/southern abomination of the real man’s game, David Hillier (full of praise for the high technique on display from the kids), he thought it was a close one.

    Was the friendly Mr.Friend even handed in his bias and marginal errors? Dare we say it was the official acting like a referee and not one of Riley’s luvvies/crows hamming or clogging it up for the Sheikh’s “Theatre” luvving crooks?

    Will we ever see one of the few officials who we can often predict with accuracy in advance to not be the centre of attention, to be unbiased, get a big match or even a FUFA badge?

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I’m on a roll here

    Liked by 4 people

  17. I think because of Wham’s diving all over the place in the first half (when friend was their friend) they got nothing in the second because Friend had had enough and became unfriendly towards their actions. I can’t remember any time thinking shit we got away with that one or even being nervous about a decision inside our area so any pen shout for them must have clutching at extremely long straws.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. “Chill out David (Moyes)”
    Said Friend as Nelson came on for a reluctant Willock

    Alas Mr.Friend has already overseen an FA cup final. Perhaps one day, sometime, he’ll get a big AFC match in the league, over the usual two or three rotters, and stay true to form.


  19. Bristol City 2 – 1 Man United

    Liked by 2 people

  20. For you Jose the Cariboo is over – very enjoyable game and not just because of the result. Whoever get Brissel have a hard game in prospect. Considering ten of their 11 started played at the weekend very fit and technically good.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. another Jose tactical masterclass no doubt, but that aside, we’ll done Bristol City, very impressive

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Are Bristol City players permitted to celebrate?


  23. Arsenal v Chelsea in the semi final

    Liked by 1 person

  24. City vs Bristol the other semi final.
    The Cararibo clowns still managed to mess up a 4 ball draw, which was not live on Sky.
    Oh well, at least it’s not too far to the Fulham bus stop.


  25. It’s a fair way from Dublin

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Thrilling game last night. Hard to get head around how good Bristol’s football was in comparison to so much in the premier league these days.

    They got plenty of numbers back much of the time, but when in possession tended to look for teammates on the deck and were very good at it.

    Brilliant to watch. On a related theme, fair chance Swansea end up with Pulis. What a fall.

    They abandoned the football that had brought them huge success a few years back with Monk’s appointment, opting to lose the advantages of a distinct and different style, built up over years, and one they could have stuck with even in relegation to ensure a good chance of a quick return.

    To become just another team trying to do it in the prem through defend and counter, among rivals with more money and with more experience of it.

    Liked by 3 people

  27. Fixture list is pretty incredible for month ahead. Ten games by 30th Jan, 11 if we win in FA cup (and feck knows if we draw that game).

    This is where having what I think is our deepest squad ever could come in so handy, and where we could see benefit of the mostly separate cup team so far really come into play.

    It’ll also involve all manner of tricky decisions about who to play and how to manage workloads. Could be a lot of fun

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Ten games in a month !!!! Tricky decisions indeed Rich.

    (I’ll be the first blogger to go down with a repetitive strain injury)

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Arsenal will by the end of Jan 20 games in 60 days

    Liked by 1 person

  30. It’s a long way to tipperary.
    But I’d like to visit Newgrange on a day like this, the Winter Solsctice.

    Happy New Year everyone!

    Liked by 2 people

  31. “how good Bristol’s football was in comparison to so much in the premier league these days”

    Players like Hart & yes Alli and personal favourite Rose (how his team’s form has improved since his return!!!!) have a lot to be grateful to their agents for.

    Harry Blessed Winks even had his own plug on the BBC main thanks to his agent to coincide with his England Cap.

    He can pass the ball, that is better then some who have worn the national teams shirt in CM, we llike to be fair when we can after all, but, well, it’s AMN all day long for me. Willock, Nelson etc. too. Better Footballers. Simple innit? UNless you love the Theatre darlings, panto Dean in particular who often turns up in his Bottom outfit during an odd result. Ahem.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Congratulations Positive brothers and Positive sisters, in the past couple of hours we have just passed the 300,000 page views for the year mark, our best since 2014.

    Keep coming back.

    You too iDibs.

    Liked by 5 people

  33. Thanks anicoll5 (banned ear to ear grinning smiley!)

    Liked by 2 people

  34. anicoll

    All being well, could get about 100,000 in January alone in 2018, what with all the games and all those previews and reviews you lot have got to right!

    Liked by 1 person

  35. A5,

    300,002? Not that I am in any way a glory hunter.

    Just for the record — I love your Posts — clear, concise, enjoyable and without any bollix!! lol

    Any chance of a revolutionary 2018, where we can actually communicate as adults in any way we want, including emoticons?

    In case I do not get the opportunity again, have a Merry Xmas All, and a Happy New Year for all Gooners, but particularly for my beloved Arsenal. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Arsenal’s Carabao Cup Semi-Final dates have been confirmed:

    First Leg: Wednesday 10th January: Chelsea v Arsenal KO 8pm

    Second Leg: Wednesday 24th January: Arsenal v Chelsea KO 8pm


  37. 20 games in 60 days
    Reminds me of the David Boon record
    more than a can of larger every half hour for 24 hours straight
    Good luck Arsenal

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Congrats on the 300K, I suspect that many are like me these days, daily readers, infrequent posters. Thank you PG, AN5 and so many others for keeping the light house open!. This and untold remain the only 2 places a sane discussion can found.

    Liked by 2 people

  39. It’s a pleasure Mr Shark. I’m very lucky to have the audience of this quality !

    Liked by 1 person

  40. New post up


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