Arsenal: Sunday, Bloody Sunday


Good afternoon Positives,

There we are then, a poor week finished off for all sports of footballing and no-footballing reasons by a defeat to Brighton.

Reviewing in my mind’s eye the performance today we lost the game as a result of a period of incomprehensibly poor defending during a 35 minute period when our defensive core, Cech, Kosc and Shkrodran looked never to have met one another before and Brighton physically brushed them aside. Each time a corner came in a big blue head got on the end of it. What was puzzling was the back four we put out, including Kolasinac and Chambers is physically the most imposing group of defenders we have at the club as viable starters. Why lads … Why … Whisper it in my ear – please – I won’t shout – I promise ! It was 2-0 after 27 minutes but in truth it could have been worse.

In any event having recovered consciousness and found ourselves flat on our back we suddenly flickered into life. Oddly the turning point of our afternoon was Jack’s 40th minute wild challenge of Knockaert, for which he was deservedly carded, but after which we had some energy about us and physically began to compete. Over the remainder of the half we matched Brighton challenge for challenge,  and certainly in the second  half went on to dominate our opponents, over 80% of the pitch at least. That goal just before half time, neatly despatched after good work on the left, surely provided the platform for a storming second half. Or so I thought …..

In spite of our momentum  going into the second half Brighton defended deep, deeper, deepest, were organised, and allowed us only an occasional sight of Ryan’s goal throughout what seemed a very long 45 minute indeed. I thought Jack and Granit were very good throughout the second 45 and the Englishman was constantly poking at the centre of the Brighton line. In front of them PEA and Mkhi also twisted and turned and tried to find space but Gawd it was crowded in there. We tried to hit them again and again on the same axis, and they defended again and again in the same way. I cannot criticise the sweat that we put in, or the commitment of our players once they had come to their senses. The guile to cut open Brighton however was just not there. Is that 16 goals in 15 PL away games this season ?

So well done to our hosts today, a deserved three points won with two well taken chances and a commendable second half defensive display. I know it is a subject I could bore for my country on but oh how I wish we had a nippy winger like that Izquierdo who was a constant thorn in our flank all afternoon.

We must stop meeting like this.

Enjoy Sunday and I trust like me you are looking forward to temporarily putting the clanking chains of Premier League football aside and enjoying the prospect of the San Siro and Milan.

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125 comments on “Arsenal: Sunday, Bloody Sunday

  1. Josk Kroenke on his general philosophy as a sports executive (on an NBA podcast)… would be a more accurate description of that quote.

    Of course that’s not going to stop people from making it about Arsenal and reinforcing their narrative.


  2. Aman

    I like all your suggestions. But as you say, first up we must deal with Milan.

    And this, apart from focused defense, will involve dealing with a high press.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. “Son of Stan”


    Mandy AW knew what sharks he was swimming with the only time he came close to resigning, when they got rid of his partner in work at the club, Dein (Whether he deserve it or not etc.).

    He can handle it.

    Whether the club can survive this ongoing backroom struggle that has been going since last season, in the manager’s own words, is another matter.

    I imagine that not all on the board are fans of Josh, whilst some tilt the other way.
    He will therefore play to the easiest crowd in order to enhance his position.

    It is a logical plan to have a handover next summer, World Cup etc. If his position is weak, in the minority, then that might explain his comments.

    So: as we’ve said for years at PA. The biggest story at AFC is the one no one ever talks about. The handover to Kronke and the continuing aftermath and conflicts that arise. Can’t imagine why anyone paid money by a PR agency would constantly and bizarrely (yep: it is, bizarre!) avoid that story in the PR that they pump out about the club.

    Personally I have nothing at stake in a board room conflict, and can’t really care for it, unlike the many many blaggers and podcastateers out there.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. finsbury, I think the club would prefer to keep Wenger for the process to be completed. (I think even Per Mertesacker would welcome it to get his feet under the table in his new role) But as Mandy says, Wenger will likely not be given the environment to succeed. Also another factor would be the instability of having one year left. If it destabilised the players last year, it has the potential to do so again the next. So maybe the club will pull the plug. Especially if performances and results don’t pick up.


  5. Shard,
    long balls over the press tend to work against us why not against Milan?
    Quick release from defence to attack with less lateral midfield passing should do the trick but we have to have enough of a quick recovery shield when it fails.
    Makes a case for Elneny and AMN don’t it?


  6. Thanks Shard!

    Scratch my earlier comments, if he was talking about the NBA then the above is unfair on Josh!

    Fake interviews.
    Out of context quotes.

    Anyone know any Experts in PR. Real genius’.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Shard

    I guess it all depends upon whether Jogi still wants and needs a little break after the WC, as previously arranged with the club and gaffer

    wink wink wink

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ozil signing a new contract…AW in his last contract…what!?

    Heh. Heh. Heh.

    Let those who want to screech away. To speculate on the motivations of billionaires (ah…I have an idea…).

    The upcoming football match against Milan is far more interesting to me. And relevant.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Or maybe they’ll tell everyone to f**k off and offer him an additional year to make his exit honourable & less Brexit-like and make the future easier to actualize.
    That would be the wisest decision.
    Losing Arsene’s know how is one heck of a risk for risk-averse businessmen to take.


  10. finsbury

    I could just as easily say Kroenke respects Wenger enough to take advice from him to educate the coaches at the other KSE clubs.

    The thing to be considered is that Josh Kroenke has a more hands on role at the Denver Nuggets (He played basketball and likely understands the game better than others) He made the call to fire a great coach when the GM was moving to another team because he thought it was needed to advance up beyond just making the playoffs, and said (on this podcast) that in hindsight he rushed that decision as there was too much change at once. Again, I could use this to advance the narrative that Josh Kroenke would want Wenger to stay till they get the rebuilding finished.

    So this review that he is supposed to be conducting at Arsenal. It’s made out to be about Wenger’s role and akin to the prince sent out to judge the Lord of the manor. More likely it is part of his ongoing education to learn from different organisations and how to best apply them to his role at the Nuggets and Avalanche. He would of course also provide a report and have an input, but there is no way Josh Kroenke will run things at Arsenal. That’s what they’ve hired Sanhelli and Mislintat for.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Shard

    To be fair to Josh conducting such research into how to improve everything that he’s working on must be far more interesting then staring at spread sheets from Wal-Mart…

    …I blame Vengarrggghhhh!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Also we should be fair to others:

    Those running the AST etc. the whole back scratching crew who dicredited anything they had to say on the club long long ago, those slagging off all at the club in public, who’d listen to Lord Henry Winter of Neville Neville Land over their own coaches, who are kicking off yet again days before a football match – they have no interest in what’s happening on the football pitch to ‘their’ team.

    1) They don’t see it as their team.

    2) They have other motives. Obviously.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Nevilel Neville Land

    And we all thought Mike Basset was comedy fiction, not a lost prphpecy from Nostradamus: England Coach and England Manager. Seriously, has someone been taking the berties?

    Don’t look! No look passes are not allowed.
    But if you play for the right team diving and clogging the opponent is allowed.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. http://untold-arsenal.com/archives/67585

    By Sir Hardly Anyone

    I’m certainly not going to turn Untold into a political forum, but if you can spare me one minute I’d like to show you what to me is an interesting parallel. So if you don’t have a minute to spare, and can’t bare to read anything other than football for the next minute, look away now.

    Otherwise, try this comparison, which comes back to Arsenal in just a moment. It’s about Jeremy Corbyn, the MP for Arsenal’s part of London, a supporter of the club, and leader of the opposition Labour Party in the UK.

    29 November 2015: The headline is published “Corbyn leadership and Labour’s long history of rebellion and betrayal.” It is typical of those of the day.

    26 June 2016: Another headline, “How the coup against Jeremy Corbyn gathered pace.”

    26 June 2016: Another headline on the same day, “Labour party revolts against leader Jeremy Corbyn… a meltdown is taking place.”

    But apparently the meltdown didn’t happen because six months later we get

    28 January 2017: …more of the same with “Grassroots Labour supporters revolt against Jeremy Corbyn”

    12 May 2017: With the snap election looming, “Labour MPs reject Jeremy Corbyn’s manifesto”

    8 June 2017: Against virtually every prediction (most of which gave the Conservatives a large majority), the Conservative party lost its majority. Labour didn’t have a majority either, but had gained where it was expected to lose, and in the interim had created the largest political party (in terms of paid up members) in Europe, and had a group within the party that supported the leader (Momentum) whose membership alone was greater than the Conservative Party’s membership in total. The result is most typically described as an earthquake.

    I thought of this while watching the bloggettas and their newspaper owners go through the hoops of trying to bring down the current Arsenal regime as they tried and failed to bring down Corbyn.

    But then, having used up every simile and metaphor to describe the hopelessness of the situation as they perceived it, they were struggling to find new words when the Arsenal Supporters Trust showed once more what allies they are of the billionaire newspaper owners in voting something to the effect that they wanted Mr Wenger to leave.

    Which when you come to think of it is pretty naff as the sum total of a policy given that it doesn’t suggest who should come in, instead – or come to that who would want to take on a club which had the AST as alleged “supporters”.

    So the Corbyn style battering of Mr Wenger goes on… up to a point, because it is so uni-dimensional and so tedious and so much without an outcome that ultimately in sheer boredom even the most fanatical anti-Wengerian bloggettas have had to come up with something else.

    And in this regard I must award the UNTOLD LAUGH OF THE WEEK to Football London which has come up with the headline
    ‘Embarrassing’, ‘atrocious’, ‘already sick of him!’

    And shock, horror, this is not unrepentant Labour MPs talking about Corbyn as leader, nor anyone talking about Mr Wenger but Manchester United supporters supposedly talking about Alexis Sanchez. You don’t imagine that Mr Wenger knew how Alexis was getting, and deliberately offered him a contract that he would turn down, but which would make Man C and Man U think he was worth having. Surely we didn’t have the last laugh on that one did we?

    So we are back to the mainstream of replacing the manager, replacing the team, and buying everyone who moves, irrespective of whether he would come to a club with the AST purporting to be supporters. Here is the last list of managers that we had on offer:

    Why do AFC get such a bad press?
    You won’t find the answer whilst trying to ignore the politics.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Passing over the top screams Xhaka. Though I agree that Elneny is currently our best ‘DM’. But I don’t think we’ll get much time to hit those accurate long balls. Nor will Milan leave as much space behind them. We could find space between the lines but this would require us first passing through the lines rather than being caught on the ball, and then then having enough creativity, speed and movement to hurt them before the defense falls back.(not to mention the finishing)

    I am only listing problems and not really solutions because I don’t see how we do this. I just have to hope our players are up for it and can find a way. At the least we should aim to be defensively secure.


  16. Sorry, the last was in response to Aman.


  17. @shard. Passing over the top? Not a good idea cos we don’t have the skill / know how to do it. I remember recently saying “poor Auba”. ?Spuds? God knows how many were aimed and ran out for goal kicks or were just headed away. Not for me thanks.


  18. Another one PG?


  19. Don’t spread yourself too thin Meerkat, we need you here.


  20. Shard & gf60,

    The idea is to mix it up not stick to a predictable style of play.
    A couple of accurate long balls and they’d have to rethink their tactics.
    Can’t deny that confidence is key.
    Is either of Nacho or Lacazette expected back any time soon?

    Liked by 1 person

  21. finsburyp @ 1:20pm
    I think I love you man….
    Your mind that is.


  22. Oh Meerkat…..


  23. RE: my 11:25am post

    possible dribbler, must be winger (preferably RW to support Hector).
    my options: Malcom, Leon Bailey, Richarlison, Adama Traore

    RE2: my 11:40am post

    my options: Malcom, Leon Bailey, Richarlison…Adama Traore if he can be reined in.
    The force is very strong with these 4 players.
    Urgency-in-application is missing from most of our players.
    It must be a prerequisite for all future buys.


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