Arsenal: On the Road toward Tomorrow


Good morning Positives,

A fine performance yesterday at OT and while I was disappointed we did not capture the point our effort deserved I was not surprised at the result. As has been acknowledged even by the most rabid of the anti-Wenger nutcases on social and in mainstream media our focus is understandably on the Wanda Metropolitana, not on the long ago decided Premier League.

Of our lads that AMN picked up Sky MoTM was much deserved for a  young man who has gone about his business for the past two seasons quietly and, as each few games pass, with increasing assurance. It was no easy task to settle into the untried midfield grouping with Alex Iwobi and Xhaka yesterday but within a few minutes the 20 year old had shown his strength and tackling ability, and managed to find a yard of extra space to pass when others were struggling in heavy traffic.

Mavropanos and Chambers ? Looked like hey had been playing together for ages though I suspect that it is a rare combination. The young Greek looked very agile, and able to get into the, even if in the end we were undone by a header. Could I also say, deeply unsporting though the theme is, it warmed the cockles of my heart to see Lukaku limp off the treatment room after a ‘robust’ challenge from young Dinos. According to Jose this morning it may be the striker’s Cup Final place is in jeopardy. Mr Friend correctly uninterested in the incident as our man had the ball. How often have we been on the end of such challenges ? Aye Dinos there will be other days, worse days, and pickier referees. Enjoy that moment though.

Fingers crossed for Mhki’s knee. You can see what an intelligent player he is in, collecting the ball, retaining it and in his movement.

My only slight disappointment yesterday was not scoring in the first half, when we had plenty of ball and opened up the ManYoo defence, but could not hit the target with any venom. In the second half we did not create anything like as much going forward, in spite of the goal. If we get a sight of goal at Trafford Park, or on Thursday, we must must must hit that target.

That will do me this morning. Enjoy the week.



About anicoll5

Arsenal supporter, 60, Dad, harmless and humourless, political militant moderate, school governor and worker bee

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97 comments on “Arsenal: On the Road toward Tomorrow

  1. I was enthused by so much in the youth cup final
    The atitude of the coach and the players.
    I am proud the coach did not get Reiss Nelson
    Chelsea are a little older,mature and experienced on average

    Matterface embarresed himself on the commentary felt like Chelsea in house tv
    Ian Dowie has all the best words , but he sounds like he is eating hot chips walking home from the pub at the sametime.

    There are teams in La Liga and The Championship who have spent less money putting their first team together ,than this Chelsea youth team.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Ed

    Interesting about Jonker and Freddie if true.

    Per is going to be academy head, and I doubt the U18 and U23 coaches are going anywhere after the season they’ve had. It makes your suggestion of Jonker joining the board very intriguing. And honestly, my thought even before all this was that Freddie could come back and become a first team coach, or even assistant manager. Though I think Bould will be kept at the club, I don’t think it’ll be as assistant manager. Depends on who the manager is of course. When he left for Wolfsburg, Wenger did say the door will be open and the hope is that Freddie would return one day.

    In my full blown fantasy world. We have Pires and Overmars on board. Ljungberg, Bergkamp, Vieira and Arteta among the coaching staff. As well as Lehmann and Bould who are already here. That’s a club culture right there.

    Probably too far, as Vieira will want to be manager, and Arteta will leave Pep only to be manager too. Besides, neither of them may be ready for the role yet. But Bergkamp has said he doesn’t want to be a manager and is happy coaching. So he’s a possibility.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. laughed at the commentators listing the CFC FA Youth cup winners over the last 5 years who have played for CFC, and them having to list guys who are on loan at other clubs across Europe to pack it out, even despite this Arsenal who have not won it in 9 years, have debuted more this season alone than CFC have in the past 5. But not a single word about that, nor did they mention that Reiss Nelson unavailable to our U18 side as he is now in the match day team/squad on a regular basis, 16 games so far for the lad. No, its CFC that have the “real” talent, if you listen to the commentators

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Agree on the commentary. Eurgh.

    The female commentator who gave Wenger a grilling on her tv interview debut for the beeb, and then never did same again with anyone else, made an appearance half time and was similarly woeful.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. He’s talksport by the way, Matterface, and first article I saw on him (he was annoying enough to merit it) describes him as lifelong Chelsea fan. Cheers ITV.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. didn’t take long for the media to do a complete u turn re Arsenal hierarchy, after Wenger’s announcement they all reported that now Josh Kroenke, Gazidis, Sanllehi, Mislintat had usurped Wenger and got him to leave. That he left cos these guys had take “wrestled” away his power, and now the club can move forward.

    move on less than two weeks and the same media are reporting that there is now a power struggle at Arsenal, between these very same four guys, not only who is top dog, but in what order they wield power. Of course to add spice to the nonsense its claimed that all four have different replacements in mind for AW and that who wins this “battle” will show who has the power.
    You never see bullshit like this in regards any other club, its like how they constantly talk about the power struggle between KSE and R&W, when no power struggle is there, as KSE won that a long time ago, 67% and all that.
    Why would the media claim that these four guys don’t know where they sit in the bigger scheme of things at AFC, one is son of the majority shareholder and sits on the board, one is our CEO, then head of football relations, and lastly chief scout. I and I assume all of you can clearly see the order of things, so why do the media try and make something out of nothing. Oh that’s right, its at Crisis Club Arsenal FC.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Eduardo, All those guys signed on not knowing what their role and responsibilities will be. Because what professional does that, right? Of course even Wenger didn’t know that Sanhelli was actually a Director of Football because the title of Head of Football Relations fooled him and allowed this coup to take place. Maybe it also confused Sanhelli and the rest? #MediaLogic

    Liked by 4 people

  8. The more I read in the mainstream media, and it is less than it used to be I admit, the more persuaded I am that their stories are based on nothing but their imagination and a quick trawl of the internet over the preceding 24 hours. The days when Arsenal football club, any football club in fact, would provide information direct to a journalist or broadcaster are long gone. In its place they produce the nonsense and pass it off as professional knowledge.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. On that note Andy, news from Bosnia says that Liverpool assistant manager, Zeljko Buvac, who has taken a leave from the club till the end of the season for personal reasons, will be the next Arsenal manager.

    While it is a strange rumour, what’s more strange is that I find this very plausible somehow.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Shard at 8:50 am

    Bergkamp has a fear of flying. I think that bars him from coaching/managing at a big club.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. GP

    He won’t be manager and has no intention of being a manager. But a coach doesn’t need to travel with the team all the time. He’s spent years coaching (and being assistant manager) at Ajax. I don’t think this discounts him from being a coach at Arsenal.

    Btw, is his fear of flying still there? It began after a bomb scare during the 94 World Cup and I think I read in his book that it wasn’t so much a phobia as just that he felt it wasn’t worth the nervousness every time he flew. It’s been 24 years since the incident. Being in Europe he may not have much need of flying and so have no incentive to change his habits. But it also doesn’t mean that he is completely opposed to flying either. That’s just out of interest, because as I said, I don’t consider it a disqualifying factor for a career as coach.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Shard May 1, 2018 at 11:43 am

    It does have a ring of truth that one doesn’t it. I know nothing of this guy other than he supposedly has a nickname of ‘the brain’. That doesn’t sound too bad a start.

    Still, sad times.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. According to the rumour cloud Buvac is returning to Bosnia where his father is terminally ill Shard.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. The Last Great Act
    Of a real Football hero

    We have finally all been made aware now officially what was mentioned on this site before anyother that Mr Wenger was ready to leave last season. But for the love of the club he stayed and took the flack once more .

    Maybe the people on this site actually bothered to look under Mr Wenger’s magic hat, to see that the infrastructure was being put in place and was functioning well because of what he has done?

    It is interesting that a season that has been seen as largely as a disaster, and a loss away to United for the first team and a drubbing for the U18 in Youth cup final.

    Call me mad but I see progress
    Real tangeable progress

    No way was the United match going to end anyway near 8-2, United aint that good or expansive and This squad is no where near as weak as that squad.

    We all seen
    El-Neny, take on an leadership role be the voice and fighting spirt of the squad when the team was at it’s lowest point around Man Utd Home defeat. His up turn of form and style of play on the pitch became more agressive and progressive.

    Xhaka acceptance and adaptation to his new position , this has not been a painless transition because it is a specialist position.
    Most players don’t really command that position untill they are around 27 except Busquets, who used to be a No 10 but after 30 second chat where he was convinced he could make a difference as a Deep lying playmaker by Guardiola.
    I think is going to be one of Mr Wenger’s best conversion of a player, if it is continued since Lauren to right back, it could even be as good as Henry to Striker .

    Liked by 4 people

  15. The Last Great Act
    Of a real Football hero
    pt 2
    I hoped at the begining of the season that Arsenal would give a chance to the young players in the League cup and maybe the FA cup with rotation.
    The Euro league really has given us so much more, it gave us Big Sexy’s 100 goal (Football should be about memories) What a goal
    Ainsley Maitland-Niles, many of the fans on this site believed that he was a talent for quite sometime but understood that he needs time and minutes.But at a top club those minutes do not often come along in the ‘Prefered or proper position’ so a player has to be adaptable because the most important thing for a young player is time on the pitch be good stay in the team .
    AMN played at left wing back and some might say why did Arsenal invest in Kolašinac, he who looks a tank (His injury record history does not show up well but he is still young so that could improve) but this season he seems to be a little fragile. This has given AMN his chance and he has done well .

    AMN played in CM against Östersunds FK, got the hook (like Ashely Cole against Man U in the 6-1 against Man U) at half-time. Came on against West Ham and has shown since that game that he has made another giant step forward in his developement. I thought he might have played a couple of games to many at the start of this year, but it didn’t kill him. I suspect he will sign a new improved contract by the end of the year.

    The fatigue players go through is not often recognised, especially for a young player on his body which affects the mind. Wilshere has been a victim of the intense pressure physically as well as mentally at the top level, after his good begining to the season he physicaly and mentally faltered a few weeks ago, he could barely control the ball. A two week rest he looked like a really good player last Thursday. BFG has opened a little door to that side of the pro experience not sure many fans are interested. ‘You get paid loads’, ‘I would do it for free’

    Liked by 4 people

  16. I thought as much Andy. He was hardly likely to go on leave before a CL semi-final were it not for something like that. Doesn’t mean that the Arsenal job has not been on the agenda.

    I just think it fits with my belief that Sven Mislintat will be shaping this team and selecting the coach to run it. It also takes away the issue of inexperience while not having the trappings of a big name. Like I said, it’s strange, yet feels credible.

    Anyway, we’ll see.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. The Last Great Act
    Of a real Football hero
    pt 3
    Mr Wenger put aside his ego for the good of the club again, he could of sent Dinos (As I have found out he is called) The Adonis (Has the look of a player from the sepia, Brylcreemed, cigarette card footballer days of yore) Mavropanos. He is a footballing Sol Campbell a Campbell 4.0 that is the celing for this player at 20 years old.
    Arsenal have bought some good defenders recently, that have not all worked for various reasons, but Dinos has arrived with many of the attributes you look for in a elite defender ,size a key one, balance (His footwork looks really good), the one you can not teach PACE . He looks like he has good football I.Q at 20, he looks better more developed player at this age than Kos was when he arrived .

    Mr Wenger could have sent Dinos off to a ton of clubs in Germany, but in the first training session he canceled that plan,when realised what he had, . Dinos problem has been, that because there were issues that were being worked out in the first team, it would not be productive for Arsenal and particularly the player himself putting him in earlier. Then he picked up an injury, which he recovered from well.
    We will see how he developes but the raw materials are already in place.

    Liked by 4 people

  18. ha ha ha, not content with linking AFC with the liverpool assistant, now the english media have linked us to Jose’s no.2 at man u, that Faria guy, skybet must be paying them a fortune to write this nonsense

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Rob Holding has signed a new “long term” contract with Arsenal.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Darren
    ‏ @DarrenArsenal1
    5h5 hours ago

    As someone said last week, last 8 Arsenal managerial appointments have been from Peterborough, England Youth, club physio, Spurs, team coach, Millwall, Bolton, Grampus Eight.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. If we are having any 2nd coach get that Atleti headbanger Burgos – I have no idea if he knows anything about football but he will put the fear of God into the opposition coach and the 4th official

    Liked by 4 people

  22. I hear a transfer from a drug cartel isn’t exactly easy, Andy.

    Liked by 4 people

  23. Between Millwall and Bolton really we should put team coach again Stuart Houston nearly won us a trophy

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Great podcast George.

    thanks for the heads up on G&G.
    It’s the only podcast worth listening to.

    As WWB describes above for so many self declared Experts to ignore fatigue and they do as it wouldn’t suit certain narratives, that football is a sport where people “run around a bit” on their podcasts that are often longer then a game of football, well, it’s just a little bit weird.
    Almost as weird as our broadcasters who are so cunning in their bias that even the famously machiavellian Yorkshireman Dave Seaman would struggle to spot and point out their disguised bias against the club the follows a different economic business model.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. The Greek kid deserved the MOTM award for me as it was his debut.

    Safe to say there’s definitely one of CBs the squad needs to complete a rebuild for the future there, one of a very very small number with that staggering potential, and he’s been snagged by AFC!
    No doubt it helped him to have such an assured and dominant display from Chambers alongside.
    Chambers led the back line very well it should be acknowledged, as that’s been beyond Mustafi since last season – I feel SM is a good player but his temprement isn’t the best, which is not a critisim as most of us would make even more mistakes on a pitch when under pressure.
    Chambers got the PL minutes in spite of his injuries for Boro last season, he did well to earn a regular berth in a squad fighting relegation.

    Most likely it’ll be Holding on loan next season, hopefully in the PL but given the level in the Championship as long as he gets the minutes it’ll be all good. Which makes it interesting, the identity of the two starting CBs next season is up for grabs (has been since the opening day of the season!), will Chambers and Mustafi make their claims before the end of the season A clean sheet on Thursday will help SM’s claims! Fingers crossed…

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Mustafi might cement his place in the future but he would be the perfect back up CB and RB to rotate into the first XI. Would, could he accept not being an automatic starter?


  27. jack wilshere “We are still in the same position really. Not much has changed. We are still talking,’ he said.

    ‘Obviously the boss has left which has changed things a little bit because I don’t know who is going to be the manager next year and that can change things.

    ‘But we are still talking and I am hopeful and the club is hopeful we can get something done.’

    Liked by 2 people

  28. Gianluca Rocchi

    Last Thursday, Atletico Madrid’s right back Sime Vrsaljko was sent off inside the first ten minutes before manager Diego Simeone was sent to the stands.

    This week, the match will be officiated by Italian referee Gianluca Rocchi.

    Rocchi has been the ref for 24 matches this season.
    He has awarded 107 yellow cards, 7 red cards and 11 penalties.

    Rocchi has officiated some huge matches this season including Real Madrid vs PSG, Tottenham vs Borussia Dortmund and the UEFA Super Cup between Real Madrid and Manchester United.

    The last time that Rocchi officiated one of Arsenal’s games, they lost 5-1 to Bayern Munich.


  29. I understand why people are keen on tall defenders, but I thought I should mention that one of the greatest defenders of recent times was the short-arsed Fabio Cannavaro. Just saying…

    Liked by 3 people

  30. More than happy with a great little un like Cannavaro.

    Italy have a hell of a history with great defenders under 6ft. Baresi of course. Juve’s Uruguayan hardman Montero also made big impression on me. I liked Ayala as well in that era.

    Don’t know them as well, but players like Vierchowod, Bergomi, Costacurta, Ferrara were all defenders of great repute and only Bergomi over 6 foot.

    Strangely the line seems to have stopped with great smaller defenders in Italy at same time as many contend the art of defending is seen less these days or defending has somehow changed for worse.

    I thought Mascherano was mostly very good and often astonishingly good at centre back for Barca, but it certainly worked best with the big guy Pique next to him and he’d have had some hard days here at West Brom and the like defending their four or five cb’s at corners.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Rich, I think it’s a shame that the ‘art’ of defending has taken a back seat to the ‘size’ issue in the modern game. Some of those Italian defenders were true masters of the defensive game. I have to confess that as well as Cannavaro, another favourite of mine was Paolo Maldini. I’ve always enjoyed an even battle between the best defensive technician against the best offensive technician. You don’t see so much of that these days as it tends to be more of a physical rather than technical battle.

    Liked by 3 people

  32. passenal

    Football has changed away from the smaller defender as the average height in the world has changed.
    John Charles the Legend was seen as a giant in football at 6ft 1in he towered over the majority of players he played with and against.
    He coined the phrase ‘Big man with a good touch’

    Now 6ft 1in is inside the average height for a male in the world to day, the number of players in football who are 6ft 3in or 6ft 4in, who have better technical level than John Charles is immeasurable.
    Guilt, Van Basten,Henry ,Cristiano and Adebayor are all taller faster with better technical level than Charles.
    Guys at 6ft 3in are much more nimble,athletic and dynamic than ever before.
    A good player will show themselves, size in position is becoming less relevant, talent will show through cream rising and all that.

    Liked by 3 people

  33. Full backs have always varied in size but with the addition of wings backs they have had to mobile.
    CBs however don’t have to be big but have to be able to jump and have good timing, Paul Parker when switched into the centre from FB was excellent because he could jump higher than many my h taller than him.
    Niall Quinn in his early career was the ultimate in white men can’t jump and it took him ages before he learnt timing.

    Liked by 2 people

  34. ianspace2014
    Niall Quinn even at the end of his career could not jump , he was clever in positioning always looked for seperation so he did not have to jump. He was better with his feet than his head. The complete opposite to Andy Gray.

    Liked by 2 people

  35. The header from Lacazette last week came from an outstanding leap against taller players!

    Against a keeper in top form.

    Great goal.

    Hopefully we’ll be lucky enough to see another on Thursday followed up by a richochet off Costa’s tattoo of Mike Dean (it’s on his…) for an own goal and 1-2 to the Arsenal.

    Liked by 2 people

  36. On the debate on short defenders I always chuck in Roberto Ayala aka The Mouse. He played centre back for the very good Valencia side in the early Noughties and was an Argentine international with 100+ caps, most as captain – only 5 foot 8 inches, not particularly musclely but the leap of a gazelle and the speed of a hungry cheetah.

    It ain’t about size. It is about being a good footballer and a good athlete.

    Liked by 4 people

  37. Nice to know Mikkhi was in training today.

    Liked by 3 people

  38. Miki in training.
    Blue kit in the bin (for this game at least).

    It might not happen but I’ve a positive feeling that the Gunners will give a good account of themselves tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Mavrapanos has traveled with the squad to Spain

    Liked by 1 person

  40. so is Manolas no longer the super duper wonder defender that AFC need


  41. Isn’t Chris Samba the super duper wonder defender that Arsenal need?

    Liked by 1 person

  42. It will not matter which super-duper defender Arsenal sign as whenever Arsenal concede a goal (which I guess they will occasionally) next season) it will not only be his fault but also the legacy of nil-defensive coaching left by Le Fraud.

    Liked by 3 people

  43. well i really should have added

    now that they have actually seen him play two full games, and not just have his winning header v Barca to judge his defending on

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Sky’s 20-year association with La Liga will come to an end. They have lost the live TV rights to show matches in the UK and Ireland.

    Ben Goodwin@BGinge8

    So Sky has
    – No La Liga
    – No Bundesliga
    – No Ligue 1
    – No Serie A
    – No Champions League

    Yet the price goes up every 3 months for “the home of football”

    Liked by 1 person

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