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Arsenal: Falling in Space

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Good morning bearers of the Positive flame,

Such are the risks of contesting the final of a competition, that the prize is tantalisingly within one’s grasp, and when one’s reach is not quite sufficient to make that final fingertip contact , so the disappointment is all the more acute. Wembley for the past seven seasons has been an almost perfect ground for us, so to experience defeat was an unusual taste.

In truth we were beaten by a better Citeh side yesterday and I have no complaints.The steepest defeat I have ever seen Arsenal suffer in a final. Our opponents were worthy winners and 3-0 was a fair record of their superiority.

Of the game itself ? Neither side started particularly well in a scrappy first half as we all saw. A  moment of inexplicable defending by Mustafi allowed Aguero to pounce but after that both sides traded footballing blows. The Sky Blues probably made the better of their possession but we had chances to strike, with our best work coming down the flanks. Jack and Fernandhino were clearly excited. At half time I had no concerns.

Second half ? Well they stepped up a gear and we were comprehensively pinned down. I thought we defended solidly but when we did manage to get the ball out our midfield foursome just could not build anything with those scarps of possession, or keep the ball. I felt that where in the first half we had an ‘out’ ball to the wings after half time our attacks became much more narrow, and passes  were cut out or misplaced as we tried to thread them through a very busy midfield. Even the usually immaculate Mesut appeared unable to pick out a team mate. PEA became increasingly isolated and we were reduced to the ‘long punt’ to make any sort of impression on the Citeh back line or to involve Bravo in the game.

Most ‘UnArsenal’ but Citeh worked very hard to contain us and to control the game. They had a confidence in that second half that we lacked. The inevitable happened and we cracked under the pressure, the result of great perspiration on their part. At 2-0 it was probably over, at 3 we were holed below the waterline and sinking to defeat.

I do not intend to engage in a witch hunt against individual players, coaches or our manager. Clearly we did not play to the standard that on other days we have managed, and will manage again. I thought Sead Kolasinac played well, as did Jack and Laurent. In spite of his early howler I thought Shkodran stuck to his work and made several good last ditch tackles.

We shall dust ourselves off, clamber to our feet and move on.

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Enjoy Monday.

 

 

About anicoll5

Arsenal supporter, 59, Dad, harmless and humourless, political militant moderate, school governor and worker bee

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72 comments on “Arsenal: Falling in Space

  1. right a lot of comments since I last viewed the thread

    jeri and shotta
    the old saying that best suits the media coverage of Arsenal is

    Divide and conquer

    Anicol
    Henry has no interest in taking the manager’s job at a smaller club, his ego would never allow it, as they would not pay enough to massage his ego. That is why he is so willing to show interest in managing AFC, he knows it brings big bucks. And like Gary Neville, if he fails miserably he can run back to his pundit work at SKY, and hand out advice to the real football managers.

    Anicol
    on the fixtures, how do those games moved fit in with possible EL games for us if we progress, will we for example be seeing Monday – Thursday – Sunday

    Like

  2. question for any of you in London, is our game v City on Thursday, in danger of being called off due to snow or what is the forecast for London, is storm emma hitting or not

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  3. something that might have passed many of you by, and it was certainly ignored by the media, but on Sunday Harry Kane, when talking about Deli Alli and diving, said he hoped refs would continue to allow him to play the way he has been all season.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Tim Stillman@Stillberto
    4h4 hours ago

    If Arsenal advance to the Europa League semi finals, they will have 3 games in 6 days on 2 occasions in April.

    Arsenal can not play on a Saturday again till 5th May at the earliest now.

    Like

  5. seemingly Arsenal will not play an away BPL game with a Saturday 3pm kick off time this season. 19 games and not one of them on a Saturday at 3pm, crazy

    Liked by 1 person

  6. i see a report that man city are not traveling to London till Thursday, despite the risk of travel problems due to storm emma, and if city either fail to make it or turn up late, AFC could/would be awarded the game 3-0, and city would also likely get fined.

    I’d expect if city are struggling to make it, the Ref would call of the game on safety grounds

    Liked by 1 person

  7. with all the media talk about this summer going to see the end of Wenger as AFC manager, I have seen many go on about how we will need an experienced guy to come in for a few years to transition to Wenger’s “long term” replacement.

    Have these people not been awake to see that there is no such thing anymore in the game of football as a “long term” manager. 3years, 4 at most, is all you are likely to get out of any manager now, the fans don’t want it, the mangers themselves don’t want it, the media don’t want it, the agents certainly don’t want it.
    Like so many things now a days, the attention span is not there.

    Even the most successful of managers are not staying, or being kept at clubs. All the successful managers now move on withing a few years, be it from their choice, the clubs, or the fans, whatever the reasons, none of them are staying.

    Wenger and Ferguson were the last of the great “long term” managers. We will not see there like again

    Liked by 3 people

  8. ACL Soccer
    ‏ @ACL_Soccer
    Feb 26

    Arsenal look set to play Liverpool at the Aviva Stadium Dublin on the weekend 3/5th August 2018 in a Pre Season friendly #afc #arsenal

    Like

  9. Funny thing. When the fixture list came out this year, I pondered it, trying to see if I could find a time in my and my husband’s schedules for a trip over this season. This week would have been my preferred time, but I thought “no way could we get tickets for the City game”, so I didn’t plan it. As they say, “things change quickly in football”.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Shard at 7:36 pm
    The British have done very well at our expense. Why not use the same tactics at home that worked so well abroad.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. eduardo792
    well I woke up an hour ago and the snow has settled, it has been snowing on and off for the last two days , with some heavy showers .
    The access problems will, (as you might guess) if it gets any colder or we get more snow.
    Prediction of heavy snow showers for today
    light snow showers tomorrow.

    I am
    When we were Boring
    Positivily Arsenal Weather special report News Flash LIVE
    London

    Liked by 4 people

  12. so WwwB it sounds like game is in doubt.

    Like

  13. Foreverheady

    Liked that post of yours, even though it was a punishing reminder of how much of the technical stuff with language I have never mastered. Damn you!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. What good quality conversation the has been on her in these past few days, past few weeks really.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Eduardo at 8:44, this is a good thing. It’s taken a long time, but the PL is finally catching up with the European, and demonstrably more successful, way of doing things, which is for responsibility to be delegated.

    The next Arsenal boss will be a head coach in a framework. I’m not looking forward to AW’s departure. But I am looking forward to a time when the club’s identity is a sort of permanent shared vision rather than the philosophy of whoever is in charge at the time.

    To which I say, thank fuck that AW has been here so long, to be able to reshape the club from top to bottom. It’s not time to speculate about his future, but his biggest gift to AFC will be that identity – style of play and faith in young talent.

    The consoling thing about his departure will be seeing his ethos inherited by a group of people. That would bring a sort of permanence to it, instead of passing the baton to one bloke who has his own way of doing things.

    I’m thinking of Mourinho coming in at ManU and shitting over Ferguson’s legacy (yes, AF was a rule-bending, pragmatist and I can’t stand the man, but his football was generally positive), or Monk at Swansea, abandoning everything the club stood for, style-wise.

    I’m also looking forward to a time when there isn’t a constant referendum on one man. If we’re bad in the future there will be a whole cast of characters to blame! Again, none of this is to say I’m looking forward to AW leaving. But I think he’s the last of a different era.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. eek, that’s torn it andy!

    Like

  17. birdkamp is now the main post. And what a good little post it is.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Birdkamp, I’ve long had the feeling that AW seriously considered leaving at the end of last season, hence the long delay in agreeing a new contract. Clearly the club was not ready for the handover last season. I suspect he agreed a 2 year extension (1 year would have created too much uncertainty within the squad) to allow time for the building for the future that we are seeing at the moment. I’m sure he’s fully involved in the arrangements. His recent comments make me wonder whether if the right man is available for next season might he leave before the end of his contract for the first time in his long and illustrious career?

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Birdkamp

    I have plenty of moments, especially in week like this, when I fleetingly look forward to some unspecified point when the media arseholes and civilian ones won’t have Wenger to attack or treat lousily. Always followed first by the realisation a lot of the same arseholes will still be talking shite about him for years after he has left, perhaps for their lifetimes, given the state of some of these people.

    Sounds ridiculous, but sometimes I despise the sheer fact any old piece of shit can say whatever they want, and do endlessly, which is a little like despising life as it is, I guess.

    I like to imagine plenty of media figures, and unofficial parasites feeling lost and bereft in the time after. Who knows how they will adjust?

    If there is even a brief clean slate period of the kind new managers typically get, it’s easy to imagine some suddenly far emptier and less invigorated lives. That’s a sweet thought. As for the professionals, many of them have been partly defined by attacking Wenger and the club in the same way for a good decade or so, and hopefully they’ll feel the absence too.

    They’ll adapt quicker, but I can still hope they have a couple of dark nights of the soul as they admit to themselves they were absolute twats to one of the better people in the game, and it’s unlikely to be the same for them whenever the new era begins.

    Anyway, these are half-thoughts ,really, partly because the future is uncertain, partly because we’re still here now.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. George, well thanks. Reading it back, I always use too many commas, but it’s no big deal.

    Passenal, I don’t know. Best case scenario would be for us to pick up this season, and for him him to see the deal out at least. Maybe get more time to work with these new signings, and if these new guys are there to take over from him they’d definitely have their feet under the table. But say the next few months are bleak (and say that results are a deciding factor), and he does call time in the summer…given the huge upheaval going on behind the scenes maybe this last season will be seen in a different light in the future.

    Prefer the first and still think it might be more likely. Last season was also looking grim in March and we salvaged a lot of pride in the end.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Great read!

    Like

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