Arsenal: Dancing and singin’ in the rain


Good Afternoon Fellow Positives,

If you like your action end to end and of about 96 minutes  duration you will have enjoyed that game as much as  did. It is good to squirm on the edge of my seat, in a nice way,  until Mr Marriner thankfully put an even contest beyond doubt.

Of our brave lads it is a while since he has earned the accolade, or deserved the award to be honest, but Danny was on top form today and his three key interventions ensured we took the thee points. His downward clip to PEA for the opener was exquisite, a fortnight ago Danny would not have managed it. It has been a slow process returning from injury to recover that extra half yard of pace and split second of mental sharpness. Trying to find game time in such a talented squad must be frustrating, but today the Mancunian was very, very good.

stream_img.jpgOf our other lads Xhaka and Mo worked well in midfield, tidy and combative. Cech chipped in with a couple of decisive 2nd half saves, and Hector and Reiss Nelson worked well together to stymie Tadic and Bertrand. I would have liked to see Reiss be a bit braver in taking open the opposition with the ball at his feet but a good hour nevertheless. Rob Holding came off the bench and contributed a useful 20 minutes at a time we were wobbling. The young defender  is not averse to hoofing the ball hard and a long way – Shkodran please note.

For the Saints I thought James Ward-Prowse and Holberg stood out. If their current employers do suffer relegation I cannot see either of them will be playing Championship football next season. If Saints had managed to get a point this afternoon it would have been deserved – but keep that quiet – strictly between us.

High jinks at the end. I thought Stephens unlucky to get a straight red. No idea what Mo’s card was for, according to the commentator “raising his hands” (?)

The bigger picture is of course that apart from an enjoyable run out against the Saints we rested a few key players, and set out for Moscow with a run ofstraight wins which does no-one’s confidence any harm. Life is too long to say anything definitely; always say perhaps.

Enjoy your Sunday.




About anicoll5

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

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175 comments on “Arsenal: Dancing and singin’ in the rain

  1. I hope Arsenal realise that even though we have a good lead the tie is not won yet. CSKA could get encouraged by the champions league games this week. We need to put up our best game.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We all know Spurs get a little leeway in certain quarters, but by awarding that goal to Kane, they have allowed something that could be construed as handball ..didn’t he admit it came off his shoulder/top of arm, and to a player in an offside position?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I feel sorry for Juventus that’s cruel and I hope the ref suffers sleepless nights for making such a gutless call and then sending Buffon off


  4. Looked like a penalty to me TFL….


  5. If it had been a last minute penalty against Arsenal after we had come back from 3-0 down at the Bernabeau I would have expected every single Arsenal player to be sent off – solidarity!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Clearly if it had been awarded in our favour I would be reflecting on Mr Oliver’s cool eye and professional expertise.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. George I have seen the replay a number of times and it’s not conclusive I think the real Madrid made meal of what was minimal contact
    When it’s virtually the last kick of the game and it’s not 100% certain I think you can’t call it.
    And why send Buffon off a yellow card would suffice

    Liked by 2 people

  8. That was the sort of penalty that Arsenal have not been getting for the longest while(not even getting full contact fouls at one stage).
    But recently Arsenal have been getting some of the calls which are a little bit more soft ,the type of calls that are usually called against Arsenal.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Replays put a little doubt in my mind but first time, real speed was completely sure it was a pen. Ronaldo won that header and thought flashed through mind, ‘you’re (Juve) fucked , followed by ‘pen’

    Guy had near open goal few yards out; literally near impossible for a defender to somehow get around side of him to reach ball that close to goal, in a split second, without making contact first.

    Understand the mad emotions for Juve players but all the same it’s a bad scene and it can’t be let go when players are buffeting a ref and screaming in his face like that.

    Could probably have sent a few of them off ,but think he’d put himself in firing line quite enough by then.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. It’s a good question whether last minute of game should come into it, or importance of game (relegation, promotion, title, europe, world cup final! etc), size of teams involved.

    The correct answer is surely no, and if you could have the perfect refbot, that’s probably how you should programme it.

    For me, the best answer is probably… a little. I approved of Howard Webb not sending off the dirty Dutch midfielder in opening minutes of world cup final, for instance, yet in Stevenage vs Dagenham and Redbridge I’d think it a bad decision.

    Not sure I can justify it, just felt right for world cup final.

    Thing was, this time, I felt sure, no doubt, first time and before replays it was a pen.

    Expect Oliver, maybe with word from even closer extra official felt the same. Think it would be cowardice and wrong for them to ignore that and go for the easier (though not too easy as Madrid would want his blood) life because of context of game

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Anyway, that’s just me…always defending Oliver, Atkinson, Marriner (OOOAAAMMM) and co.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Didn’t look a conclusive pen to me, but I am sure some in power are glad there is at least one Spanish giant in the semis.
    WWWB, if we are getting soft decisions, maybe our ex Barca football special director of ops, or relations or whatever is getting to work, I am told he is on first team names with Infantino.
    Ok , I kid, we all know Arsenal, at least under Wenger would not take that route , however I for one was extremely and pleasantly surprised at the Elneny decision

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Anicol, just saw your post about Bayern. Very relevant to my thoughts on Ronaldo during tonight’s game.

    What to make of it that occasionally a player will get massive scrutiny and condemnation for a dive, and yet tonight Ronaldo did at least 4 or 5 I saw (and I missed fair bit of game), and while commentators might say no on each occasion, they never tot it up, and never condemn it either?

    He must have done it now hundreds of times in his career, winning countless pens, running the gammut from soft to outrageously bad, from ‘ prob wouldn’t have got it without theatrics’ to blatant cheating. And those are only the ones that worked!

    He’s truly about as bad as it gets, and he’s also an astonishing footballer, with no way of separating the two. It’s as much a part of his game as the prodigious leap is.

    Pens, bookings, free kicks, the works.

    Feels to me like he is constantly practicing and calibrating. That it’s deliberate to fall over, feign injury, whatever, even when there’s little or absolutely no chance of getting a decision. Like he’s honing his skills and ensuring that he’s in the groove when an opportunity comes which he may get an advantage from.

    That truth about him, and the other big players and teams like that, is then simply nowhere to be heard when the pundits, journalists and probably the majority of amateurs sum up the scene. Same people who all claim on occasion those things are a very big deal to them.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Yep, saw it again from various angles, it was a pen. push in the back -strength unknown but it was a push, then the leg, the player didn’t really see him and went down on contact?

    Liked by 1 person

  15. https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/gianluigi-buffon-blasts-referee-michael-12348358

    Wow! Some pretty emotive language from Buffon.
    Would loved to have seen Szcz save that, he did go the right way

    Liked by 1 person

  16. In the context of the game you would want a ref to be 100% before giving that. I think after all the replays it probably is but the worrying thing is how much did Oliver see, was he sure or did he get it right by accident?
    We know English refs arn’t that good and the way he handled the aftermath wasn’t that good either.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. In the context of the game you would want a ref to be 100% before giving that. I think after all the replays it probably is but the worrying thing is how much did Oliver see, was he sure or did he get it right by accident?
    We know English refs arn’t that good and the way he handled the aftermath wasn’t that good either.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Didn’t watch the match.
    Just watched the highlights.
    Looked a great game.
    Correct call Mike Oliver…PENALTY.


  19. Also, I’d have sent Buffon off myself.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. …while we await the Meerkat’s “new post up”,
    …Xhaka’s not in Moscow.
    I expect:

    Bellerin – Mustafi – Koscielny – Monreal
    Ramsey – Elneny
    Iwobi – Ozil – Welbeck

    S: Macey, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac, Wilshere, Nelson, Nketiah.



  21. we all know oliver will send off a player if they touch him, Di Maria springs to mind.

    Allegri the great coach who will sort our the AFC defense has his team in injury time leave a Madrid player free six yards from goal.

    On Ronaldo cheating and diving, and Bayern cheating and diving, we could all see it, how come the officials can’t. Ronaldo threw himself to the ground four or five times in the area last night, Oliver waved away each noisey appeal from him, but no booking, Why not.

    robben and ribery done the same in their game. No bookings

    we know players do it to gain an advantage, to try and win pts or matches for their team, but what do officials gain by ignoring this cheating game after game after game.

    Liked by 4 people

  22. eduardo,
    Its the CL not the PL.
    Refs have to blow with a different temperament.
    La Liga is full of divers..many an El Classico’s been ruined by childish antics.
    “Thank God for the Queen”.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Morning all – new post up – small technical difficulty in the studio this morning

    Liked by 2 people

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