Another Year, Another Cup Final.



Good Cup Final morning my fellow Gooners with a positive inclination.



This isn’t going to be easy today. I don’t mean the game, I mean typing this blog,as a 10 week old puppy is chewing my fingers as I speak.

We take on the might of  Abu Dhabi FC. and make no mistake “mighty” they are. They have made short work of winning the PL, and are gliding through to the quarter finals of the CL. The only blot on their landscape has been a FA Cup defeat to Wigan, in a game they dominated with 10 men and lost to a single shot on target. For us to triumph will take a monumental effort. Certainly a more difficult task than beating last years City team or Chelsea in the semis and final of our FACup last season.

I have no idea how we might line up. Do we stick with 433 or try the hybred 343/523/433 that has ElNeny with the task of deciding what the formation is in any given moment?

Will Ramsey be fit enough to start? Who plays with Aubameyang and Ozil up front? Is Jack and Danny well enough recovered to start?

Anyway, it looks a lovely sunny day in London and all we can do now is hope for the best. And By the way, our best will be good enough. I hope Arsenal.com  are sending out gifs of Mesut come about 6.30 PM




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70 comments on “Another Year, Another Cup Final.

  1. Ed,
    I would suggest the squad changes in January could be cause for the relative disjointed ness we are seeing. And the ongoing changes that have been taking place behind the scenes could explain why we are not really clicking at critical times. We keep faulting on tiny details that eventually cost us games.
    I think what we are seeing this season could be the trade off for making the required changes in the operations of the club. We are making investments that could propel us to new heights never experienced before and that means we have to endure some hardships as the changes bed in.
    If ever people needed evidence of changes taking place at the club, I would refer them to this season.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. fucking Henry hawking himself for the Arsenal manager’s job.


  3. jeri, the thing is that its been going on before the january transfer window, and I would even suggest our problems and mistakes have been happening longer than just this season.


  4. Kind of see where you are coming from Jeri Moses, there are certainly changes going on, but these poor performances have going on well before Jan, though clearly Jan could be a reaction to them.
    Not sure Raul ,Sven and co should be affecting the players, I certainly hope they are not negatively affecting the manager, not aware of any of this. But going with your points, I have noticed some of the players seem quite fatigues, know we have the new director of high performance working with Shad, maybe he is changing things on the fitness front that will take time to come to fruition.
    Bit TBH, I am a bit worried about this team at the moment,they seem disjointed, disorganised, their heads drop quickly, we are losing a lot of games this year.
    But maybe there has been too much change for a club and manager not really known for wholesale change, and it is having a temporary influence.
    Whatever it is, I hope they sort it, and soon, this weeks performances have not been acceptable, at the risk of sounding entitled.
    And when a man with the managerial track record of Gary Neville starts laying in, you know things are bad!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mandy, Ed
    I think the changes have been going on since the summer I think. Whatever the changes, I think it takes time to adjust psychologically. As the squad, since the beginning of the season, there have been many distractions with Sanchez, Ozil situations, even other squad players. Add to that changes at the administrative, scouting and medical and fitness, even new coaches coming in. Some others we may not even know about.
    The effect of these changes may be subtle but at the highest level, games hinge on very tiny details; plus given the fact that the new people are replacing people that have been around for such a long time and their methods are relatively new, mistakes are bound to happen as the changes take effect.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Goal 2. Was a city player offside blocking Ospina’s view, I don’t know

    Even without the benefit of a TV replay it certainly looked to me at the time like Sane was in an offside position, blocking Ospina’s view. The first goal looked like a mistake by Mustafi to let Aguero get goal side and he took full advantage of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. but that is the point passenal, the ref today did not even bother to have it looked at, its exactly what and how I expect VAR to be used in AFC games, no review on goals we let in. I have said it many times, VAR might change the game for the better, but it will overall not help AFC, not with these refs

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Wenger on if this season will be his final season in charge: “Who knows?”


  9. I think it would be a shame for Wenger’s legacy to go out on a low after all he has sacrificed for this club. Without his astute purchases and ability to coach teams of young talents to outstanding performances, I doubt we would have survived the transition from Highbury to Emirates. There’s one chance of silverware left for this season and I hope the players can rouse themselves to get it for him. The man deserves no less.

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  10. well passenal the couldn’t rouse themselves for the final today, and they have to rouse themselves for 7 EL games yet to get that trophy.


  11. You may be right Jeri, hope so, because that is about the kindest explanation for some of the performances this season. But I still don’t get how technically accomplished internationals can forget how to perform the most basic passes,runs, defensive manoeuvres, I remain baffled. Change, fatigue, confidence issues, these are the best case scenarios, don’t want to even speculate on other alternatives!
    Ed, Wenger as we know has another year from,this summer, but is supposedly subject to some sort of review, according to so called ITK journalists, and I think the manager himself. not sure what that means in the greater scheme of things


  12. I think there is a lot of over reacting to this game. We lost against the PL leaders, they have a stronger team and bench than we have (for obvious reasons). We had a chance of winning, but at the end of the day, they were more decisive in the key moments and won the game, end of story. I don’t get why there is so much over-analysis and scapegoating going on. We lost a game of football to a team that on paper are better than ours and on the day played to their strengths. However bad we feel, I’m sure the players and coaching staff are feeling as bad, if not worse. They have to rouse themselves and go again against this same opponent in a few days. I just hope they are not as defeatist as some of our online supporters.

    Liked by 5 people

  13. Arsenal FC
    Are a BIG club going through major changes whilst competing for prizes.
    There are clubs that are supposedly better run,financed with better players and managers just putting on the pressure. This team that has under gone a major refit played the club that can boast four £50 million Full Backs. Coached by a legend in Football.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Mandy,
    That’s where the human aspect comes in. Even the best of the best make simple basic mistakes doing things they have done all their lives when faced with adversity. It’s how they respond to those mistakes that makes them the best in their respective fields. It’s only this season that for some reason they seem unable to respond in the manner that we have seen so many times, which is why I suspect the back room changes may be coming into effect.
    He managed to lift them from the Birmingham defeat in 2011 which imo was much more damaging and cruel than this one. Guys like Kos and Szc became top players after that final, even Wilshere.
    This loss may hurt now but could be the spring board from which we go on to win the Europa league and even claw our way into the top 4 against all odds. Wenger has many weaknesses but the one thing he does best is raising our players from such dire situations. I will trust him and the boys to salvage what is left of the season which is still quite a lot imo.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Passenal, you are my favorite.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Is this thing about the players walking around,etc a load of bollocks, as i suspect?

    Didn’t pick up on anything like that but I was in a weird place after we conceded the first and not sure powers of observation were very strong from then on. Had sound off and maybe got beer dosage wrong.

    Felt we were playing just as we needed to from 5 on till goal, lot of encouraging signs, including the extra man at back looking to give us extra solidity. Then that damn goal.

    Players would have known, as we did, being behind to them was very bad news, and maybe the manner of goal hit them same way it did me.

    We didn’t look as good again as during that early period and were in the tough spot of being behind, knowing we need a goal, sooner the better, while knowing they were where they wanted to be, and that they have devastating attacking quality.

    Then 2nd half and I’m not too sure what happened. Became obvious they had us pushed back early on and we were struggling to change that. A goal, another.

    We pushed thereafter but couldn’t get anything. Nobody struck me throughout as walking about or displaying a bad attitude.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. We were beaten by a better team, undoubtedly, but looking at the game stats, some intersting things emerge.

    Man$ity had only 3 shots on target, which all became goals. We had 2. So, apart from the 3 goals, Ospina had no saves to make.

    They had 7 shots off target, and we had 5.

    There are 13 fouls by us and 10 by them. However, there were at least 2 fouls on Jack, which the ref ignored, I think one because he allowed the advantage.

    Fernandinho was allowed 4 fouls before he was booked.

    They had 57 % possession and we had 43.

    It could be argued that after they scored the 3rd goal they eased up, hence no more shots on target and less possession.

    Hardly a spineless performance, and certainly not a disgrace.

    A defeat by a better team, yes.

    Liked by 8 people

  18. My main takeaway from the game was how difficult we found it moving the ball from back to front especially creating chances from Auba. It has been a struggle all of this season btw. Arsenal struggled with building from the back especially in the 2nd half. None of the deeper-lying midfielders could be trusted to control the game whether it be Xhaka or Jack and even Aaron. Wenger played a 5-4-1 set-up in the hope we could keep it tight and take our chances. That soft goal conceded in the 1st half was a killer. In my opinion, we have not found a replacement for the little Spanish genius, Santi Cazorla, who went down last February 2017. It is no coincidence that since then we are struggling outside the top-4.

    PS: I made the same point above on twitter and my good friend A5 suggested that central midfield has been a struggle with Santi. Deep lying midfield is not easy but with Santi we usually find a way. The fact is we won 2 FA cups with @19SCazorla running things, in fact beating City on the way. This was followed up with a Comm Shield over City, again Santi at the control. We ignore the importance of a controller in the Wenger system at our peril.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Shotta, Santi was long gone before we played City in the Semi.

    Liked by 1 person

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