Arsenal: Another load on the road


Good morning Positives,

Another road-trip, another defeat. And the 3-1 loss following a spanking victory at the Emirates a few days previously. The story of the first five months of 2018, play, pause, rewind, play.

Of last night’s game it was likely to be a ‘tricky’  fixture with Leicester’s players and beleaguered manager seeking salvation after their humbling at home by Moyes’ mighty Ammers at the weekend. Another limp display and Puel was gone (and may still be gone). Add to that spark in the home side our injury roster of Kosc, Ozil, Santi and Mrs Wilshere gulping down gas and air, and or other lads earning a deserved rest, and it was a proper football contest in prospect.

Early on I thought we had the game under control but slackness in GETTING RID OF THE F******** BALL WHILE IT BOUNCED AROUND THE BOX +  lax marking allowed Iheanacho in for the home side’s opener. Dinos then messed up and was dispossessed by the same player a minute later and off he went. Looking at the red card incident again on TV it was arguable that Holding could/should/would have got across if Dinos had let the striker go but that was not the way referee Scott saw it.

For a few minutes we wobbled alarmingly at 11 v 10 and the Foxes probably should have got a second. We did however steady up and gradually got back into the match by half time. The second half we came out and took control gain and duly equalised after some skilful and determined wing back work from AMN.

Our 10 pressed forward with Mhki, who was excellent all night, Ramsey and Xhaka all pressing high up the pitch, all prominent.  Kolasinac in his turn gave a further display  of what an attacking full back should do. Quite a left foot on him that boy.

And then, just as I was unpacking the bunting for the victory parade as AFC roll back to N5 with the three points, further self inflicted calamity. Another slack clearance, Mhki made a challenge he did not need to make, from an angle he should never have made any challenge from and Scott pointed spot-ward. At the time it looked like a horrible swing from Mhki, and actually it still does present as a real haymaker, but how much contact was there on Demari Gray ? I have watched it half a dozen times but even from several angles it is difficult to pick out on 2D what can only really be assessed in 3D. I shall leave you, gentle reader, to ponder the evidence;


I recall something very similar with Hector and Musa about two seasons back, and on that occasion I breathed a sigh of relief.  Vardey blasts an unstoppable strike into the top corner and even with 15 minutes to go I sensed our players had runout of steam. We pressed forward again but not quite with the same conviction or purpose.Eddie can on with five minutes to go but he did not have a sniff of a goal. Mahrez caught us out again and Leicester comfortable by the final whistle.

Twas ever thus.

So enough of is gloom – a festival in prospect on Sunday for Arsene’s last game. Le’ts enjoy it and  intend to have a bit of a party to see him off. I do not know if any of you contributed to the banner flypast I put a link on here for a couple of weeks back but the fan running it @Orpheus79 got enough cash together in £5s and £10s largely for the plane to fly over Huddersfield on Sunday so keep your eye out.

One more game to go – Roll on Sunday, roll on next season.


17 comments on “Arsenal: Another load on the road

  1. Özil’s agent confirmed that Mesut has been playing with pain for some time against medical advice to help the team

    Liked by 2 people

  2. seems Sky have not picked Arsene Wenger’s last game as one of their picks for broadcast on Sunday,


  3. I imagine with every PL position effectively settled and nobody with anything to play for Sky are struggling to find much worth covering on Sunday eddy. I am sure we shall find plenty of overseas interest in the fixture online.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. And he just put a tweet up about it;

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Replying on previous thread to Aman at 8:51 am

    You really think Ramsey got “clumsy feet” or is “heavy legged”? Just check his assist out on Lacazette goal and then tell me again.


    Liked by 2 people

  6. Trying the link again:


  7. Excitement of last night’s game has me thinking again of what league would lose if we ever dramatically change our style for a more defensive pragmatic approach.

    It may be that Leicester were far more up for this game than recent ones but think it’s also surely the case that a countering style has far more chance of looking good and providing one half of an exciting game if there’s an attacking style to counter against.

    Reached stage of season now where memories are fading of earlier games but I think 3 of ours must be pushing for top five of the most exciting matches of the season in the league. Leicester home, Utd home, Liverpool home.

    Even among that horrible list of away losses those games allowed likes of Swansea, Stoke, Newc, Brighton chance to actually look more potent, though only infrequently on counters, than they typically do if a team doesn’t give them much opportunity for anything on the break, behind fullbacks or defence,etc.

    I obviously hope we can improve our away tactics and performances from start of next year, but if ever that time comes when we are much less adventurous away and even at home, the league will certainly lose something, as it cries out for teams who aren’t built on defence first, cautious principles.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Last night was one of those frustrating games. Frustrating as in knowing the ref pulled a fast one (for old times sake Arsène) and knowing you have to throw them with the kitchen sink. Which we did but the odds were stacked a wee bit too high. Season done and dusted, changed up team, so nothing to fuss over and the boys didn’t shame themselves.

    First away points of 2018 at Hudders? I’m not gonna say ‘it’s all up for grabs now’.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. It was a wonderful game to watch,but a b. awful result. Just like you Andy, I was counting the 3 points after AMN’s great work and the equalizer. Suppose that was the case with most of us.
    Young Noddy after his early error earned kudos for the way he kept Vardy under control and a special thought for Mavro with a hero to zero mistake that will doubtless bring him bad dreams.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. A lot of clubs at 11v10 would have shut up shop after grabbing an equaliser Rich – not us – oh no not us. The game was there to be won and, as we always do, we went for the three points.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. What I neglected to say in my piece is that both keepers last night had good games. Jakupovic pulled off a couple of great saves which on another day could have got us home comfortable.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. And for those near a screen at 12.15 Arsene’s final press conference is live on Arsenal.com (gulps)

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Labo,
    In motion, given time, driving forward Rambo is great. But a swift pass to him in midfield with limited room and its not always smooth sailing. Teams with smart, quick, athletic CMs successfully pressurize Rambo (and Jack). I don’t want to go on about this. No one is without flaws but he (& Jack) have frustrated me quite a bit over the years. Yesterday was an example. Blame it on their terrible injuries.


  14. I would say one of Ramsey’s flaws is that he is too far ahead in his thinking than most. Give a pass ahead of him and more often than not defenses are opened up, but some passes are under his feet and the few times he’s a bit slow getting it under control, because he’s usually at full pace, is what most remember.

    One of Arsenal’s legendary midfielders, Freddie Ljunberg, suggested that the new man should build the team around him, because if knows if those around him adjust their game to him it will raise our output significantly.

    Look at Ramsey’s goal in FA Cup final vs Chelsea. Giroud got caught in no man’s land with his back to the field, he could’ve easily played for a corner or lob the ball into the box, Ramsey anticipated that one option but also knew he had to bust a lung to get there, which he did. There was a goal few seasons back vs Newcastle. Giroud got himself into trouble, Ramsey ran at speed into the box, took the ball off Giroud’s feet and dragged two defenders with him away from play and barely 2 seconds later back heel the ball to Giroud for a goal. There’s so many such examples.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. anicoll

    I had to watch most of second half with the screen so dark it was hard to make out what was happening. (The little red arrow I had previously clicked which made screen normal went and failed on me.)

    Still, though, from what I could make out we truly went for it and there was a lot of quality on display. Difficult inventive passes coming off, playing at speed, crispness to play.

    maybe there’s no such thing as an objective excitement rating for a game, as a terribly boring game can be exciting for fans of a team who gets good result, no game is neutral for everyone and hardly anyone is truly neutral about any team…but still, if there’s such a thing as objectively exciting football and games, this was another involving us which was an 8 or a 9.

    A league needs exciting games and different styles, so I don’t believe any team offers as much to the league as we do.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Looks to me that the attacker was already on the way down before any contact, if any.

    A classic rooneyism, and the refs fall, no pun intended, for it time and time again.

    Liked by 4 people

  17. New post up – it is all go here today

    Liked by 1 person

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