Arsenal: Sometimes just One Second


Good Friday morning Positive Arsenal fans,

A better performance last night than Sunday but the same scoreline against a set of attacking players who at this rate will tear up the Premier League record book easily. In spite of my early season scepticism, Citeh appear to be very serious contenders for the Champions League final. If there is a club or clubs out there who would have turned over our opponents in the form they were in last night then I have not seen them. I noticed all the pundits seemed to be cooing and gurgling about MC in contrast to their vituperative attacks on our players during the Carabo.

I have not checked the stats but last night I think Citeh had five serious efforts on goal and scored beautifully from three of them. We had probable five, perhaps seven, worthwhile chances, including the penalty, and yet did not trouble the scorer. In other recent games – against Palace and Everton we did to the opposition with our  first half goal-fest in each game pretty much  what the visitors did to us last night – we were home and hosed by half time. I therefore raise my footballing hat in admiration.

Having got that commendation out of the way I thought our lads did OK. Aaron looked fit again and it seems essential that if we are to put in a strong finish to the season he stays fit. Granit worked his arse off as always, Mkhi buzzed and earned his penalty. It is taking time for PEA to fit in and for us to play to his strengths but it is a positive work in progress. Hitting the back of the net though – that is what has let us down all this season. The problem has to be resolved – easily said – bloody hard to do.

In the world of strange football statistics I was informed last night was the worst sequence of three results AFC have suffered for 41 years, since February/March 1977, when we lost away at Middlesborough, Everton and at Highbury to the then very good Ipswich and the ‘appy Ammers. We then went on to lose our next two games. I survived the catastrophe 41 years ago, I suspect I shall survive it again.

So onward to Brighton for a Sunday lunchtime kick off and the chance to put two consecutive batterings by the Champions’ elect behind us. I did not see any additional injuries or fitness problems last night and Jack should be available if required. I look forward to a brisk start.

Enjoy your Friday.



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78 comments on “Arsenal: Sometimes just One Second

  1. But returning to the football:

    It fit the “narrative” to not acknowledge the quality of those senior “panic buys” and how they were brought in to lead a squad that apparently had no leaders: which is how they won three Fa cups in four years…

    And it fits the narrative to ignore how hard it is to:

    – Replace such figures

    – Replace such figures the with a range of inexperienced (in the PL) recruits who are at an age that still has a period of development and progress ahead of them as players.

    – How good Santi Cazorla, the best Spanish midfielder in their great team behind Xavi and Iniesta was or is. The insanity of the Expert blaggers still pining over the F Word when AFC ended up with the better footballer, somehow, was: properly insane, and reflected in this weeks’ screeching. Did anyone expect anything less from the comedy clowns?


    Liked by 1 person

  2. NB:
    Th F Word would never realise his full potential after he rushed himself back from that “bruised bone” in order to take up Cazorla’s place in that squad, as Cazorla was also out injured.

    One can understand why a top level footballer player left a football club where they received zero protection from the football officials.

    That’s what happened. But talk of it is not allowed in some quarters.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. < understandably left a few years ahead of an anticipated move (though they could've gone about it better).


  4. << just in case anyone has any trouble digesting that record:

    The F Word couldn't or hasn't completed a full season of top flight football since Gardner clogged him without even a foul being called (not the first or time we've witnessed such hackery, outlawed C1875, allowed against the Arsenal).

    "Not extra protection. Just protection".

    Fascinating words from th Arsenal manager last week.

    His words: not mine. Words reflected by the Arsenal Footballers, you know, like Jack Wilshere.

    Of course ignored by the Wally and his flock.

    You are not compelled to believe the football people when discussing the football over the hacks. Everyone has their own faith after all.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. < not forgetting the data!

    Faith is a powerful thing.


  6. If a player has really leaked the details of a team meeting to the press, that is unforgivable. AW has always protected his players publicly and if they can’t have the common decency to keep things in house then they are not worthy of respect. I’ve just about had enough of this public ‘death by a thousand cuts’ when this man deserved to leave with dignity given all the personal sacrifices he has made to bring AFC to where it is today. If it’s true that he wanted to leave at the end of last season but was persuaded to stay, the board has to take full responsibility for the position they have put him in. I take no pleasure in watching a decent human being humiliated and disrespected and every bastard putting the knife in right now can go fuck themselves.

    Liked by 7 people

  7. Stephen, Thank you for your thoughtful contribution. It’s measured and comprehensive, neither a quality much in abundance these days. I’d take (small) issue with only one point, that Arsenal’s board is sound.

    In my view – and this is just from looking at its makeup and reading organizational development research – the board is too small and homogeneous to lend itself to good decisions. The research is pretty compelling that the strongest decisions come from boards featuring differences of background, ethnic and gender composition, and opinion. Arsenal could do therefore with adding some women, youth, and people of color to a group now composed of aging white men plus Josh Kroenke.

    That observation barely dents my wholehearted agreement with what you say otherwise.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. I not only liked Passenal’s comment I am loving it, endorsing it, praising it. PA is demonstrating to me yet again, and now during this most difficult time for AFC and Arséne that it’s my home…

    Liked by 3 people

  9. No player leaked that story. I just can’t see that. Saying a senior player “broke down in tears”? I can’t see there being one man in that dressing room who would leak that about a teammate. Not that he should be ashamed of it (toxic masculinity anyone?), but these boys have been in this pressure cooker for a while. I don’t see them betraying one another that way. Now: could one of the new boys have told someone, not thinking what would happen? Or, not yet truly understanding the media circus that surrounds this club? Maybe. Per will get to the bottom of it, I’m sure. Probably already has. The Germans are efficient, or so I hear.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Bellerin fake interview…

    The consistently uncredible and risible gibberisms from Manchester Grunt?

    Eleneny trolling Sanchez

    You’d have to agree with ‘bama above.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Finsbury is correct, there has long been a media narrative against this club.
    Now, the vultures have quite a lot of ammunition, not a great season on the pitch. Can leak a nice story to fit the narrative of some that Wenger doesn’t do coaching.
    Easy to now say he has lost the support of the board, no real evidence for this, although PHWs words, of accurate are a bit of a worry.
    Nobody knows what happened last summer, but there is widespread opinion Wenger had to be talked into staying. I guess it is not behind imagination that some within the b
    Club with their own ambitions and power plays may have wanted change last summer, and maybe still do.
    I can accept that things are not always nicey nicey when those as influential as Wenger eventually depart, as some with ambitions try and fill anticipated power vacumes.
    Very few outside the club know the truth, but I believe the sheer volume of these leaks are a bit concerning, not so much what they are saying, but with the worry some may be coming from closer to home.
    If our manager is to depart this summer, I really hope this club do things correctly, with the dignity such a man deserves. Death by leaks falls out side respect.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Mandy

    Given the ammunition the English FA have supplied to their critics and placed upon the table for all to see over the past twenty four months, you have to remark at this remarkable contrast.

    What is about the former England defensive coach against Iceland and the current England Woman’s coach and BBC plundit that protects them to similar treatment bar the obligatory article after those humiliations, given the, ahem, greater ammunition – unless beating the champions in a cup final and reaching another in two seasons is considered to be comparable to Neville’s achievements with Valencia and England (they aren’t!) – how would a new manager at AFC be considered after such achievements in their first two seasons? (Fortunately AFC are not Chelsea!)

    What is about these two players from that 50th game that makes them immune to such treatment? Not by fans we all remember the nation mouring every time the hapless clogger Phill Neville got on the pitch for England, but from their peers and colleagues and partners in the media.

    Why are their fellow hacks afraid of them?

    Liked by 1 person

  13. In the long term the future of the squad, of Ramsey and Wilshere, what happens with the back five in the summer is what’s important?

    Meanwhile there’s a lot of football still to come this season. Brighton away. Rosicky’s goal in the FA cup. Hopefully the new striker will score.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. if the media story about the players meeting is fake, then why, 24 hours later has none of our players shown a little bit of backbone and contradicted it, so many of them are on twitter day in day out, only takes a simple tweet that its “all made up bollocks” and media are put in their place. But not a peep from any of them.


  15. would also add, if the story is fake, AFC should be banned said journo, and all journos of the publication responsible.


  16. Wilshere was back in training today,

    Welbeck missed training

    Nketiah, Willock and Nelson involved in training too


  17. was called a yid today cos I said I’d like to see Wenger become Arsenal Chairman.


  18. I don’t think it’s right to expect players or others to respond to fake news. Because once they start doing that people would expect them to do it again and again, and if the moment fail too thereafter… they will leave themselves open to sinister speculation. As supporters I think we are wise enough to see the BS for what it is. Most of these journos doesn’t have an ounce of integrity, which should be more than enough to meh at their trolling.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. then labo club should ban said journo and the publication he works for. its long past the time AFC should have stood up to these cunt journo’s


  20. I’m with you on that. That would be the most ideal way putting these hacks in their place…

    Liked by 2 people

  21. some reports that the Sunday rags are going into overdrive with their Arsenal stories. most of it should be “revealed” by 11pm.


  22. There is no disgrace being called a “yid”, I am one, but, not a supporter of that bunch down the road, but because I am Jewish,

    The word “yid” is simply a Yiddish word for a Jew, not in any negative way whatsoever.

    It is simply ignorant people who started to use it as a negative reference to the scum, simply because they have many Jewish supporters.

    We also have many Jewish supporters, such as myself and many of my friends,
    Indeed, our club has a long tradition of Jewish support.

    Liked by 3 people

  23. spurs fans use the term yid for themselves

    but it was some of those idiotic wenger out idiots on twitter who attack everything and everyone who does not hate wenger


  24. Former Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, writers Jonathan Freedland and David Winner, comedians Ian Stone and David Schneider. Many more, plus my oldest friend.

    We’ve got some really talented famous fans, so it’s a tragedy that probably the most famous today is Piers Morgan.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Yid or no yid, think Wenger would be a superb chairman when he ceases to manage but if he does leave this summer, I suspect there will be a lucky club, or perhaps country that will inherit a revitalised , re-energised Wenger ready for a new challenge.
    For starters, I could easily see him making France World Cup winners again.
    It is possible he is suffering from overload at Arsenal, but there is a superb manager about him.
    In the mean time, I think Josh Kroenke may sit as chairman

    Liked by 2 people

  26. The Guardian story is probably true. I doubt they’d make that up out of thin air. How they heard of it will be an inquest in the dressing room no doubt.

    However, I would like to say that just because the conversation happened as described doesn’t mean the image portrayed is real.

    You know we are told players don’t care. And one player got so emotional while making a speech to his teammates that he got choked up. So do they care? And now it’s a bad thing?

    One player said we need more help from the coaches. So either Wenger doesn’t give them enough coaching, or they want more coaching for certain things. I remember a story many years ago where Arteta and the rest of the players apparently demanded more focus on set pieces. There was a period where we were terrible at them, so it might be true. Now Ozil says that he has never seen anyone more obsessed with set piece training. I don’t think Wenger is aloof to players’ demands. He may not agree with them all the time, but I think he certainly welcomes feedback.

    Back to the current story. Apparently one player responded to the demand that coaches help by saying, that’s not going to happen, we have to do it ourselves. Again, is the import that our coaches are useless and won’t help, or that don’t blame the coaches and let’s look at ourselves?

    In the heat of the moment we can say things we don’t mean, or go overboard with stuff we do mean. It’s not necessarily an accurate representation of what is thought and felt.

    I’ll say again that if the players have lost faith in the management, there is only one winner. But that IF remains, and I think the rest of the season will be a better guide than any more leaks as to how the players really feel about the situation, the manager, and themselves.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Forgive me for this, but just in case it is of interest. I was asked to give a talk to a group of youngsters about a sporting memory, and as we travel to Brighton today I thought I would share it with you. It might help with perspective if things don’t turn out well this afternoon!

    Saturday, 18th August, 1979. A day I remember well for all sorts of reasons, some of them happy, some of them sad. It seems strange to think it now, but in those days I was a professional cricketer: a wicket-keeper by trade, but I also batted a bit and was pleased as you like to be living my schoolboy dream, playing for my County club, good old Sussex by the sea. That Saturday we were playing Yorkshire in the County Championship: a three-day home fixture with the added bonus of a separate 40 over game on the Sunday. We won the toss and batted, but after a promising morning quickly subsided to 180 for 7, losing three quick wickets after lunch. I walked out to bat – conscious of the crowd expressing doubt and disappointment, to join another young player, A. C. S. (Lester) Pigott, an old Harrovian, but we won’t hold that against him, at the crease. Lester and I had worked our way through the Sussex ranks: junior schoolboy stuff, Under 19s, 2nd XI and now the full county first team and we believed in each other, even if nobody else gave us much of a prayer with the Yorkshire bowlers rampant – tails up and sensing blood.
    Slowly but surely we steadied the ship, and all through that late August afternoon batted as if everything depended on it, gradually gaining the upper hand, and finally making hay while the sun shone. It was fun, and what made it somehow even better was the fact that that day marked the start of the Premier League Football season, and that Brighton and Hove Albion, having been promoted the previous season, were playing their first ever match in the top flight, against Arsenal, the pride of North London, no less. In those days the cricket and football grounds were only a mile apart, and as Lester and I put our cricketing crowd back on their feet, we could hear the chants, cheers and groans from the football as Arsenal asserted their authority and handed out a 4-0 drubbing to the Seagulls.
    But I can remember very clearly the feeling of somehow being at the centre of the sporting world that afternoon, of having finally made it, and also, I am ashamed to admit, rather enjoying the adulation of the crowd. As Wordsworth wrote about the French Revolution: “Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive – but to be young was very heaven.”
    Pride comes before the inevitable fall, of course, and after enjoying what proved to be a match-winning partnership of 70, downright cockiness saw me advance down the track, miss the ball by miles and lose my wicket, stumped by the Yorkshire keeper, David Bairstow. Bairstow was a real character, well known in the game for his dynamic approach: he’d spent the afternoon gently, and not so gently, sledging me, as befits the big, bluff Yorkshireman he was, and I’d looked up to him for several years, so despite my disappointment at getting out, I almost felt quite proud that it was at his hands. And as any of you who follow cricket would know, he is also the father of our current England wicketkeeper, Jonny Bairstow, so I know that as I follow and watch the Ashes this winter, I will be reminded of that moment all over again.

    But here’s the thing: a few years after David Bairstow eventually retired it came as a shock to discover that he had spent many years battling depression, a fight I’m sad to say he wasn’t able to win: he took his own life while still in his 40s. And it wasn’t long before I stopped being a promising young cricketer and had to realise I wasn’t after all going to go on and play for England, and that it was time to hang up my gloves and find new ways of spending my days.

    So when I remember that afternoon, as I do whenever Arsenal play Brighton, or hear Jonny Baristow’s name on the radio, or just take a trip down memory lane, I’m reminded of a whole heap of things. That no matter how big, brave and successful someone might seem they may be hurting inside, and that we all need to have a better understanding of mental health. That it’s good to have a dream, and good to be able to look back and know that you properly followed that dream and worked to make it happen, at least for a little while. That golden afternoons in the sun don’t last for ever – but it’s nice and right to enjoy them while you can. That the career you may initially set your heart on isn’t necessarily the one that ends up defining your life, and that if we could see all, all might seem good.

    And perhaps, most of all, that it is never a good idea to try and hit an off-spinner through Square Cover.

    Liked by 5 people

  28. New post up


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