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Arsenal: Working Accord in Milan

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Good morning Positives,

A livelier spring in the step this morning as we emerge from the footballing fog of the past fortnight.

What a good performance and an even better result in Milan last night. We put together what I’d say is the best team performance this season. Against good quality opponents who were in form and in front of 70,000 Milanese our 11 players worked tirelessly over the 99 minutes of the game to fashion the deserved win. I do not think it was our best football performance this season, as we have purer, crisper Wengerball at other places sinceAugust, but last night every player worked for the  collective, the sum of the parts added up to more than the 11 components.

Particular praise to Granit, Aaron and Jack across the middle who were creatively tidy with the ball, and bloodhounds when Milan had it. Mustafi has endured a storm of criticism over the past fortnight but was excellent last night. Man of the match though for me was Danny Welbeck. I admit in the opening few minutes I was a bit “FFSDanny” as he skated about but  he raced about all night and provided an out-ball to stop us being constantly confined in our half. Toward the end of the game he still looked fresh and for a player who has played so little football his fitness was credit to him and to the backroom gurus who have brought him back. With Laca still a bit short Danny will have another busy Thursday next week.

The only slight cloud on the horizon was Sead and Callum’s injuries.  Our Bosnian had a first half tormenting the home side so his departure was disappointing. Hopefully both players will be swiftly restored but you never ‘know’ with injuries.

Of our RossoNeri opponents I doubt this tie is all over. Milan tried stuff and it either ran into the AFC defensive brick wall or it did not come off. They will be disappointed not to have got at least one goal. Suso’s a handful, I like him. Milan still think they are in it and will come to the Ems with the early goal in mind.

Both sides played a fair game last night and congratulations to Calhanoglu for not chucking himself at Ospina to win a penalty. Were you watching ‘ArryKane ?  For referee Turpin an easy game to control and he responded by allowing the game to flow and whipping out only one card.

Before starting this morning I picked up a ticket for the second leg – lower tier North Bank £18.50. You won’t hear about that ticket price in the media or from AST.

Enjoy Friday.

 

 

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55 comments on “Arsenal: Working Accord in Milan

  1. (all I have to do is think about commenting on a mature post-day old, two, three- and anicoll puts a new post up)

    Thoroughly enjoyable win and performance.

    Ramsey nothing short of incredible, a few others close behind, and everyone had a good game.

    Midfield three worked very nicely. Ramsey deeper more often than usual, , and no doubt for me he is better than Jack there at defensive actions, but still got forward at good moments, and crucially there seemed to be real understanding between all three.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. The midfield three worked hard enough and controlled the centre of the pitch sufficiently to allow Mesut to do his deadly thing Rich.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. By way, that’s 28 appearances total for Wilshere this year, 4th highest of career. Very pleasing given how dark things have been for him with injuries.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Ospina did well with when he came out (though another striker would have gone down and hoped to get a penalty) and the defense were generally solid, though both Kola and Calum let players past them a couple of times. There was only an initial period where MIlan looked very threatening but we dealt with it, and with all the corners and set pieces.

    The key was midfield. Xhaka had a good game. The balance seemed right with him, Wilshere and Ramsey. Milan didn’t press us for very long, but that may be because it wasn’t bringing them the expected rewards since our midfield dealt with it well.

    Miki was a threat and putting in a defensive shift. I didn’t notice Ozil on the defensive end but I bet he was there. He’s like a ghost in how he moves across the field and his vision is just magic. His pass out toward Miki for the first was a pass I hadn’t spotted while watching on tv. Just amazing! And his through ball to Ramsey for the second was perfectly timed. As was the run. And what a finish. Weren’t we talking about rounding the keeper a few weeks ago?

    Welbeck is hilarious in how clumsy he can be but a player that never stops trying, provides an outlet at all times and occupies the defenders. Slightly unlucky to not get the bounce for a goal. But a good performance nonetheless, including a great pass to Miki. On his fitness, I think more than a few Arsenal players have said that Welbeck is an absolute beast in the gym. I reckon he’s a natural athlete who puts in the work.

    Also, correction on the article. Arsenal received two yellow cards. Kolasinac for handball, and Ramsey for winning the ball like he was playing in the PL.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Yeah, I forgot to add hard work to their praise but it was a key element. They put in great shift.

    Don’t think it was quite a Santi Coquelin moment of things clicking into place, but do hope it’s the way forward at present rather than having the three in higher positions, two behind. I

    Iwobi could still get some decent minutes coming in as sub for Mkhi or Ozil or if one doesn’t start.

    Not sure Mesut would approve at all, but in scenarios like yesterday where he has done immense beautiful damage to establish a lead, seems a strong case for me for bringing him off with ten or twenty to go for fresh legs and/or bit more defensive-minded player

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  6. Spot on as usual Andy.

    Definitely a great team performance.

    The ticket you have for Sunday also means you’ll be at the last game commentated on by John Motson. Whatever people think of commentators, I’ve always got time for Motson.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Sunday ?? No no no I am a tourist Steve, only interested in the glory Euro nights

    Liked by 4 people

  8. I think you’re right about Ramsey’s card Shard but when I was checking names on the Arse.com website only Kolasinac had a yelllow tag – fingers crossed perhaps

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  9. An enjoyable game and a splendid write up, thank you Andrew and The Arsenal Eleven.

    As I wrote yesterday, hold firm, my friends, hold firm – the beast is being tuned up and the glory of a Europa League Cup May yet be upon us to kickstart a season already beginning to wind down for many.

    Despite what you may have read elsewhere, we have many fine players (that Ramsey, eh?) and a team, when it re-emerges following the biggest set of changes from many a year, that will prove excitingly competitive next season.

    More players incoming no doubt but I bet we are one of the first off the blocks when the transfer window opens, although there’s no real telling what chaos the World Cup may bring.

    Wenger has always hated the winter window and our chaotic, largely ineffective form of the last 8 weeks or so is the reason why.

    What was most impressive about last night was the recent good form of our opponents. It’s the same good form AFC will be working hard to replicate in the run in, in order to give us the perfect launchpad for next season, I’ve no doubt.

    Well played.

    Stay firm, strong and above all else, positive; there is everything to be gained.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Top work Andy Nic, and thanks to all the in-game posters who allowed me to catch up with the game as it unfolded, albeit several hours later. Sounds as if it all went very well – and sounds too as if our useless manager who doesn’t do tactics might have realised that a few of his highly professional and experienced squad needed to be reminded of a few basic positional points and that controlling the midfield means occasionally occupying the space between the two boxes!
    A colleague forwarded this little gem from Jermaine Jenas last night “Gattuso is in the infantry of his managerial career.”

    Liked by 3 people

  11. What bliss to see Wengerball back and working. May it stay that way.No-one could ever claim not to live in interesting times as an Arsenal fan. Personally I’d give them all 10/10 but a special mention for AMN who fitted in and played and defended so effortlessly.
    Now I wait for my bit of schadenfreud…what will Pedro have to say later?

    Liked by 2 people

  12. well Anicol I’m glad you watched the same game as me, although I said FFS Welbeck many times through out the game, I thought Mustafi had a fine game, but was doubting myself when I seen the amount of abuse towards his performance on twitter and arsenal blogs. like so many of our players he has been charged, judged and found guilty, its such a pity that the rules that apply to Wilshere do not apply to all our players, then the world would be a much happier place

    Liked by 3 people

  13. we had problems early on last night, a lot of which came from the fact that we had everyone back defending, and when we won the ball there was no out ball, it was just a matter of where we gave it to AC Milan, its something I don’t understand, we do it at corners all the time too, for me it encourages pressure, we need to leave at least one fast player up field, or a big strong guy to battle for the ball. If it was up to me I would put two players on the half way line, meaning the opponents would probably leave maybe even four players back to defend, cutting down their attacking options.

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  14. afcstuff
    ‏ @afcstuff
    16h16 hours ago

    Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Özil & Jack Wilshere all start together for Arsenal for just the second time since May 2015. #afc

    Liked by 3 people

  15. anyone watch the highlights on ITV last night, kevin campbell and glenn hoddle, oh my, negative, negative and more negative. Laughably they even used the line

    “not to downplay Arsenal’s performance which was good, but AC Milan were average at best”.

    look at that statement, its basically “we won’t be negative to AFC, but we are being negative to AFC”

    it was all AC Milan were so poor at the back that it was easy for AFC.

    Then they showed the Atletico Madrid game, where their opponents were downright awful, defensive mistakes all over the place.
    But was it
    “not to downplay Atletico’s performance which was good, but lokomotiv were average at best”
    not a fucking chance, it was all Atletico caused lokomotiv defenders into errors, and of course their was a love in for Costa.

    in the space of ten minutes Campbell and Hoddle showed the difference in how Arsenal are judged by them compared to all other teams.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I’m not sure why you still sound surprised eduardo. That is the narrative and regardless of evidence to the contrary they are going to continue pushing it.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Uefa lists both yellow cards Anicoll. So no such luck.

    Oddly enough, Arsenal.com in its key moments of the match says Mkhitaryan booked (instead of Kolasinac).

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Is there any update on the fitness of Kola and Chambers? To lose them now when Monreal and Bellerin are also out would be very bad.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. An unpopular take I suspect, but I didn’t think we were *that* great yesterday. Very good performance to be sure, especially given the circumstances, but I must admit myself surprised to see the extent of praise for the performance last night. Perhaps I was too jittery throughout the game to truly see it and enjoy it, or perhaps I underestimate how good Milan are at the moment, and how average we made them look. This one might merit a rewatch.

    Still, great result and a good performance to boot. On to the PL.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I’m a typical supporter just like everyone else, if you’d given me the draw before the game I’d of taken it but when we won 2-0 I was disappointed we didn’t score 4 or more.
    Bloody supporters eh.

    Liked by 6 people

  21. Ha. Just reading an article about Reiss Nelson with lots of negative undertones (or maybe overtones) about how we have to be careful he doesn’t leave.

    The article goes:

    Lots of youngsters leave now, including two of our own; Mcguane already made Barca debut; Nelson been played out of position; has made 14 appearances, but…

    Towards end they say his good friend Sancho has left and already made 6 appearances at Dortmund, and Nelson will be aware of it

    “The winger has already made six league appearances for Dortmund at the age of just 17 and Nelson will be well aware of how his friend’s move has paid off in terms of securing first-team football at the top level.”

    So…6 equals success, but 14 doesn’t really and means it will be our own fault if he leaves! Heck even 1, for Mcguane, proves he was right to move and might be better than 14!

    I don’t like it Nelson hasn’t signed up with contract on table; and if the claim of him wanting to wait and see if he gets enough opportunities in favourite position is right, then a nervous wait ensues, but only so much we can do. We have given him good level of experience this year and just have to cross fingers it works out.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Wenger on the team news…

    Sead Kolasinac has an ankle problem, but we don’t rule him out for Sunday yet. Calum Chambers had cramps, because he played in a position which he is not used to for a centre back. He should be OK though.

    on Nacho Monreal…
    Nacho Monreal is on a good way, he could be available again for next Thursday.

    on Hector Bellerin…
    Hector Bellerin we don’t know yet, we have to see. He is not available for the weekend though.

    on Alexandre Lacazette…
    Alexandre Lacazette has his first run today, but won’t be back until after the international break.

    Read more at https://www.arsenal.com/news/team-news-kolasinac-chambers-bellerin-nacho#hoi4JxHaIeozvsrG.99

    Read more at https://www.arsenal.com/news/team-news-kolasinac-chambers-bellerin-nacho#HUwGgGQexV55OZrl.99

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  23. We reached the FA Youth Cup semi-final with a 5-1 win over Colchester United – and now we can confirm when we will face Blackpool in the penultimate round of the competition.

    Our under-18s will travel to north west England on Tuesday, March 20 at Bloomfield Road for the first leg, before hosting the Tangerines at Emirates Stadium on Monday, April 16.

    Full fixture details below:

    First leg
    Blackpool Under-18s v Arsenal Under-18s
    Tuesday, March 2
    Kick-off 7pm
    At Blackpool FC

    Second leg
    Arsenal Under-18s v Blackpool Under-18s
    Monday, April 16
    Kick-off 7pm
    At Emirates Stadium

    Read more at https://www.arsenal.com/news/fa-youth-cup-semi-final-dates-confirmed#KtmEQ0cp7M78t3Ou.99

    Read more at https://www.arsenal.com/news/fa-youth-cup-semi-final-dates-confirmed#3eMA5mKHTEWIhpgF.99

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  24. Arsene Wenger on Watford and Deeney’s “cojones” comment: “They got a cheap penalty from a good dive. We’ll respond to him on the pitch [on Sunday]”

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Arsene Wenger now beUnt told off by the not so great and good for not being a dictator/tyrant and butting in front of the youth team/reserve team/academy coaches and managers and lecturing their charges upon the obvious.

    Did Arsenal football club win a game of football or something?

    Yep. The bullshit is relentless. And risible. But even more deserving of critique are those who deny the lay of the land – not to complain about it, even the act of simply pointing out the topography as it is appears to be is too much for our Expert blaggeristas and gallant brave selfless Podcastateers.

    Liked by 3 people

  26. today Arsenal U23’s play spurs u23’s, a win will put them second a point behind the leaders leciester city with a game in hand, a draw will put them second above liverpool

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  27. martin atkinson the ref for Arsenal v Watford tomorrow

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  28. some of you may have seen the fake outrage, the anti AFC slant, the stupid tweets from the usual suspects, the stupid arsenal blog articles, over Marcus McGuane making his Barcelona first team debut, and how this showed AFC to be a mess, how AW is holding back talent, how other AFC academy stars should get the hell out while they still have a career to make
    so lets clear up a few things about McGuane’s departure and his Barcelona B games and his Barcelona debut

    his departure from AFC
    the lad made his debut earlier this season, he refused to sign a new contract, not cos he was not getting first team games here, but because he was not starting games for our U23’s, with Joe Willock, Ben Sheaf and Josh DaSilva, not to mention Smith-Rowe picked ahead of him, also the returning Jack WIlshere.
    One really stupid article from football.london suggested that mcguane with his 1 senior game for Barca(I’ll get to that in a minute), and the 7 games Sancho(former man city youth) has got at Dortmund shows why Reiss Nelson with his 14 first team games so far this season for AFC, should get the hell out of here to progress his career. Really, that is the caliber of intelligence of these bloggers.
    As I said McGuane refused to sign a new deal, he would have been free in the summer, just compensation fee to be had, Barcelona made a bid, AFC took the money. Why should we not, Willock and DaSilva who are same age as him are ahead of him and younger lads rated higher too.

    Barcelona B
    the media, twitteratti and blogs would have us believe that McGuane has tore it up at Barca B so far, well 2 starts and 2 subs, seems tearing it up is not what it used to be.

    Barcelona First team Debut.
    sorry can’t remember the name of the competition, but its a game between the two highest placed catalonian teams from last season, it can only go ahead with the permission of both Barcelona and Espanoyl, and has been played a whole 3 times, its not even on the level of the Community Shield, in fact its not even on the level of the Emirates Cup.
    Scrap that, its not even an officially recognized game, its actually a game by the Catalan FA.

    So to sum up, its fake news, its fake outrage, its simply a means to attack Arsenal and Wenger. Its click bait. And of course Arsenal blogs and twitter are only too willing to oblige

    Liked by 5 people

  29. marin keown at his usual bullshit again today, now its “any new AFC manger would sell Ozil”

    jesus does he expect us to appoint a brain dead idiot as our next manager or what.

    Liked by 2 people

  30. It must have been his cousin from far away.. Martian Keown.

    Liked by 2 people

  31. Inching round the car park formerly known as the M25 yesterday afternoon I tuned into a variety of radio shows and was diverted for a few minutes by an Arsenal fan calling Talk Sport to complain about the stagnant nature of his club. All the favourite lines were trotted out, and the show’s hosts were quick to go along with the caller’s narrative as he depicted a shambolic club that was going nowhere. As that was literally my situation I had time to think a little bit about it all, and felt that this is what I would say were I to decide to phone in (which strikes me as quite an odd thing to want to do, to be honest).

    Arsenal FC made the decision after a less than brilliant 2016/17 season, which although delivering the FA Cup (for the third time in four seasons) saw them fall out of the top four for the first time for 20 seasons, to make some radical changes to the structure of the club and in particular the coaching, recruitment and fitness elements, as well as of course the playing staff. They renewed Arsene Wenger’s contract for a further two years so that he could oversee this period of unprecedented change.

    In November 2017 Jeremy Wilson reported these new appointments “Arsenal have appointed Raul Sanllehi, the former Barcelona director of football, to a new position as head of football relations to complete the club’s biggest off-field overhaul since Arsene Wenger ­became manager 21 years ago.

    Sanllehi’s arrival follows that last week from Borussia Dortmund of Sven Mislintat as the head of recruitment and the summer appointments from Team Sky cycling of Huss Fahmy as contract negotiator and Darren Burgess from Australian rules as director of high performance. Former goalkeepers Jens Lehmann and Sal Bibbo were also added to the first-team coaching staff this year, while captain Per Mertesacker has agreed to become the academy manager next season when he retires from playing.”

    There has been a similarly energetic approach to reenergizing the playing staff: contract rebels Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Alexis Sanchez have been shown the door as it was felt that their wage demands were no longer matched by their on-field performances, and loyal servants such as Theo Walcott, Matthieu Dubuchy and Olivier Giroud were allowed to leave the club in order to further their quest for first-team football, given that they were no longer seen as regular starters. In their place Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Alexander Lacazette and Sead Kolasinac have been brought in, and Academy players Ashely Maitland-Niles, Reiss Nelson and Eddie Nketiah have become regular members of the First team matchday squads. Jack Wilshere and Callum Chambers have both returned from last years loan spells (and subsequent injuries and are now fully integrated back in the side. Perpas most significantly of all, Mesur Ozil has signed a new long-term contract and it is envisaged that further signings will follow early in the Summer transfer window: the club are reportedly looking to sign a new central defender, a defensively minded midfielder, and a goalkeeper. This unprecedented upheaval of the playing staff was a direct result to the boards disappointment with last seasons League placing: it was felt that such an influx of new players would take time to gell, and this is one reason why the club was prepared to write off this season’s Premier Leauge results, knowing as they did that a winning performance in the Europa League would see them back into the Champions League mix in 2018/19. Whether the current manager will actually see out both years of his contract is as yet unclear, although there is a strong suspicion that the plan has always been for him to step aside this summer so that Joachim Low will take over the reins immediately the World Cup is over.

    So far from a club that is stagnant, Arsenal are acting swiftly and decisively and in a way that will guarantee a painless transition once their most successful manager is finally free to comment openly on the standard and openness of Premier League officiating.

    Liked by 3 people

  32. george only last week Keown said Ramsey was not a proper midfielder

    thursday he said Wilshere was our man of the match and should always be in our best 11 as he shows “passion”.

    I really don’t know where this idea that Keown has a scubby has come from, he is just anther idiot pundit who wants thuggish play, kicking and passion. Skill and talent is to be mistrusted and must be stamped out of the game.

    Liked by 2 people

  33. No tactics!

    Can’t coach!!

    Crisis!!!

    Shambles!!!!

    *Copied by Young Pep etc.? a partial result from copying other managers. Same as all managers do. What’s going on with this “narrative”?

    What is so offensive to these people about AFC’s policy’s that editors brief their employees to constantly attack a football club? What is it about the football club that is so offensive to their brand? Why is every draw or defeat greeted by an orchastration?

    Are the recent comments by the dodgy geezah and owner of Leeds Leeds Leeds “sinister” and “conspiratorial”? The mock outrage of the Wolves coach was hilarious! People can ignore such stuff if they want to but it’s just so funny…yet not as funny as the state of that disgusting football club after it was used and abused and finally gutted by Risdale and O’Leary. And some people think Karma doesn’t exist!
    I can’t understand why anyone would want to ignore such slapstick comedy!

    Returning to the funny papers and the bizarre broadcasters: Perhaps these editorials have something to do with the Wonga?
    Possibly? Maybe?

    We know what the FA’s prescription for AFC is (please refer to Leeds and Forest):
    Nothing is gained in kidding ourselves about that. If you are a supporter of Arsenal Football Club: please support Arsenal Football Club.

    Liked by 2 people

  34. foreverheady there is a lead article in there

    Liked by 2 people

  35. Eds that would be a complete 180 from Keown on his earlier coaching work at the grass roots.

    Keown is not so clear cut: he’s employed by the broadcasters, yes. After that earlier coaching work he chose to sp be more time with family and work as a plundit. He has to earn his corn same as others, but his deeper thoughts on the football and the coaching are on the record, which makes his editorial prompting all the more amusing!

    It’s the age of reality TV drama (AFTV!)
    These plundits are poor actors.
    But to be fair they’re not as poor as Delli funting Alli!!!! Unless you’re one of their devoted followers like the pgMOB or one of the clowns telling us that a footballer whose biggest achievement to date in football was an own goal against Gent/Genkh(?) is on the same level as Messi and C.Ronaldo etc.

    This “Brand” is properly amusing!

    Liked by 1 person

  36. then passenal he is a hypocrite who will say anything for pay, did I say hypocrite, maybe I should have said prostitute

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  37. I watched football focus this morning, when did the standards at BBC drop so low, when not only do they in just one show, claim one manger should announce he is gone this summer, cos “its over for him” and they then go on to say another manager should have been sacked by now too.

    Like

  38. Arsenal FC
    ‏Verified account @Arsenal
    3m3 minutes ago

    #AFCU23 face Tottenham in 15 minutes – and here’s the team news…

    Starting XI: Macey, Osei-Tutu, Ballard, Medley, Bola, Gilmour, Dasilva, Coyle, Smith Rowe, Amaechi, Dragomir

    Subs: Keto, Olowu, Smith, Eyoma, Balogun

    Liked by 2 people

  39. ‘I watched football focus this morning’

    You must’ve been seriously bored!
    I.B.S.F./L.O.L./S.O.S.

    Such a poor contrast to, for example, the Bespoke podcast on the bleeb earlier in the week.

    Bizarre!

    Or not.

    Like

  40. Jeorge Bird
    ‏ @jeorgebird
    11m11 minutes ago

    Mavropanos, Nketiah, Nelson and Willock (not involved v Tottenham U23s today) trained with first-team along with Omole. Kolasinac and Chambers in full training. Monreal in light training.

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  41. Ballard has put AFC U23’s 1-0 up, heading in a freekick

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  42. spurs have leveled it 1-1

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  43. HT: Arsenal 1-2 Spurs

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  44. FT: Arsenal 1-3 Spurs

    a big blow for the U23’s title hopes

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  45. https://www.expressandstar.com/sport/football/wolverhampton-wanderers-fc/2018/03/09/wolves-fans-planning-to-don-jorge-mendes-masks-in-big-derby-at-aston-villa/

    Agents dominate the modern game.

    Football Focus gives the subject a wide swerve whilst hiring some plundits that also work for football agencies. yet some people will attempt and fail to insist that any discussion on this subject upon a football blog is “sinister”?

    As in the above link it’s just people talking about the football. If you wonder sbout who comes in and out of a squad then what else are you supposed to do? Blame Vengarrghhhh and AFC over the last period for having a track record of not working with certain elements within Football?

    I also blame Tim for raising the formerly excluded topic of doping! My illusions about Team Sky’s Olympic success have been shattered! Just kidding, I didn’t even bother to watch the cycling. I’m slow but I’m not that dumb! Beautiful bikes though, lovely efficient machines. And I watched the 2012 Field Hockey, of course. Video Replays with miked up officials and other strange black magic inclusive.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. Fins: it wasn’t me that raised the issue. Someone who knows a lot better was there long before me.
    https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2015/nov/14/football-arsene-wenger-doping-suspicions

    Liked by 2 people

  47. Burnley have closed to withing 2pts of AFC and LCFC are within 5pts

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