Arsenal: Small steps, right direction



Good Evening Positive AFC fans,

The first game of the 2018/2019 season under the belt, so to speak, and I feel a lot better with that opening obstacle concluded. A real thumping would have cast a pall over my week and I could not have that. Not the result we hoped for but a team performance that I thought was good overall.

Of the parts that impressed me most our teenage debutante Guendouzi stood out, and he earns his first MoTM award. Matteo was able to cope with the physical demands of the game, tackle cleanly, and showed himself able to control the ball with no time or space. There was some pre-match discussion on SKY about the speed/pace of the English PL game troubling foreign players. He had no obvious problem I saw. For the young Frenchman  to put in the full 94 minutes with no obvious slacking toward the end also suggests good stamina. Lichtsteiner’s introduction at left back, although the circumstances of it were unfortunate, showed us what the highly experienced Swiss can do. He reads the game well and has that edge of cunning that we need in a cruel, cruel football world. In Michel Oliver’s face, pointing, shouting, even tearing a strip off Mesut at one point. On another day his goading of Aymeric would have seen the opponent on his way back to the dressing room with a red card for his cranial lunge. I like him.

I thought Petr pulled off a string of good saves today, and for a period in the First Half kept us in the game.. The notion that he should have done better on the Sterling goal is bollocks. The kicking out or passing out from the back though between Cech/Matteo/Sokratis/Skhodran ? THE STUFF OF NIGHTMARES!! Sort it out Mr Emery.

Of things we could have done better ? We created a number of half chances and potentially useful positions on the Citeh final third that we did not exploit. We looked rusty. At the key moment the pass to an Arsenal attacker went astray, too long, too short, Auba went left as the ball went right et cetera.At 0-1 we all know a goal for us would have left Pep’s boys reeling. Against good teams like Citeh we can expect only limited possessions around the opposition box and I felt today it was not used as it could/should have been. Scoring goals eh ? That is a thing.

I would also like to see more of Mkhi on the ball and challenging in midfield and  that it was Aaron who got the hook first and the Armenian playing the full match was a surprise. He did OK but in the first 35  minutes he did not provide AMN with enough support. He worked better with Hector after the changeover but even then he had a air of Theo at times, always available but never involved.

Onwards to the Bridge next week to meet the currently table-topping Chelsea. Probably a busy week at Colney, identifying the parts of the machine that need to be sharpened, tightened and oiled.

Enjoy your week.

About anicoll5

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

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273 comments on “Arsenal: Small steps, right direction

  1. as usual anicol you refuse to answer why is it that refs refuse to enforce the rules, its there job, but you as usual want to put the blame or responsibility on someone, anyone else, refs are sacred

    Liked by 2 people

  2. S – for the umpteenth time today if swearing, or miking up referees bothered the clubs they would “do” something about it. You may regard it as important but I think you are in a small minority.

    You have asked for a reason why they don’t “do” anything about either and I have given you my view a) the PL do not give two hoots about either issue at this stage and b) players swearing and attracting unfavourable attention to the brand is a problem they would have to get over. It may be if VAR comes in again they will revisit it but for now it is not even a pimple on the PL arse so far as priorities go.


  3. Campbell and Mavididi both confirmed departures from arsenal today, Ospina expected to leave too

    Liked by 1 person

  4. See below eddy – no one in authority in the PL or the PGMO cares – bit like diving, cheating, financial doping and Pep’s ribbon.


  5. thats all fine and dandy anicol, we know the clubs don’t give a hoot about swearing, even much bigger things like the daily cheating, but the question is why are the refs not enforcing the rules of the game, its actually what they are paid for. They are not there to enforce some of the rules, or the bigger ones, they are there to enforce all the rules of the game. its there job.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Refs are sacred

    I love a bit of black and white, you’re wrong I’m right banter.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Actually you brought up swearing and for some reason keep bringing up the clubs, which sign on to the league, vote on certain issues, but don’t run the league nor the refs. I simply want the league and the refs, to communicate better with the fans. IN whatever (or every) format. Through websites, ref interviews, ref mics (as in Rugby) or whatever else. I agree with you that they don’t care about this. I disagree that they are right not to care. (Which is what I understand you are saying, in effect)

    Anyway. I shall now withdraw. Indeed has been very lively today. (banned smiley)

    Liked by 3 people

  8. And I anticipate if you asked a referee in the PL, or in any league, he’d probably say he is doing is best to enforce the rules. Clearly some rules are easier to enforce than others, and some more important than others. Or do you think otherwise ?

    I appreciate you think all referees everywhere must be shite eddy – as every player in every league curses and swears from what I can see (and hear).

    It seems a bit hard line though


  9. Ah I see.

    So Eddy doesn’t just hate English refs.
    But all refs!

    We are making progress.

    And Keith Hackett?
    Did he attack just English Refs? Or was it all refs? Or were his pointed comments (citation is available above) directly questioning the competency of those heading the pgMOB, his old job. Which bear with me here I’m going to bravely speculate here that he doesn’t hate his old job. Yes. He Keith hates all refs. Not just English ones.

    Seems like a reasonable conclusion.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. oddly enough anicol under the rules foul and abusive language is a bookable offense, so is not a lesser rule, and is a rule that is very easily enforced, that is unless refs are now deaf, after all even you can hear the players swear in all leagues.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. “reluctant to leave their billion £ product in the hands of Wazza, JT, Carra and their ilk.”

    Aaah, the billion dollar product! Perhaps, now we come a bit closer to what is really the primary concern. Fans do not just support their clubs, they simultaneously support the sport. That is why the ire is raised when injustices on the field and beyond cannot be laid at the feet of just “human errors.” When refs are allowed to be arbitrary in the interests of that billion dollar product we can clearly understand the reluctance to allow open discussion of perceived injustices. One can reasonably argue that VAR will reduce that debilitating feeling of injustice that finds its expression in the vulgar tongue-lashing meted out by disgruntled players. After all, what is the point of having rules when the judge – ref, embraces the scope of arbitrariness? In other instances such a practice is well known by its even less salubrious name – corruption. The billion dollar product! The most popular sport on the planet is clearly a platform with numerous stakeholders. So, is the game “managed” in the interests of the sport or has that become a pipe-dream?

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Damn, all this debate and i’m too tired to join in.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. “Clearly some rules are easier to enforce than others, and some more important than others. Or do you think otherwise ?”

    This is where it gets blurry, because in many cases refs find it very easy to enforce even the most mundane rules where Arsenal are concerned; giving the most soft calls against us, whilst stuff like Mustafi being dragged down simply get over looked. And in other instances they have to simply ignore rules as per the “game management”.

    Why can’t refs just do their job like they’re supposed to because there’s no such thing as some rules are more important than others. That’s very Orwell-esque.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Emery comments on our midfielders

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Andy, some rules are more difficult to enforce and some decisions are very difficult to get right at high speed. However I would imagine most fans are most frustrated with things refs can control, consistency or lack of it and applying the laws where they are easy to enforce. La Porte went through the back of Auba in the first couple of minutes and was not punished because it was “early”, in the second half Stirling already on a booking made a deliberate foul to stop us progressing a move just outside their box again it went unpunished because the ref didn’t want to send him off. Both decisions wern’t difficult and had a significant effect on the game. Especially when you consider two minutes after the Stirling incident one of our players was booked for a similar offence.
    Remember the reason we have the the white foam to mark out free kicks is because refs refused to book players who would encroach.
    If a ref is a long way away or can’t see and gets a pen wrong then fair enough that’s annoying but until we have VAR it’s understandable but when they continually refuse to apply the laws of the game correctly and evenly then they are either incompetent or bent. When they continually appear to be former without getting any better you can only assume they are the later and why not all sports and all businesses have been affected, why not ours.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Interesting to see agent take on that Mavididi move. Quite similar to that of Mcguane’s but a little more detail.

    ‘Brilliant move for client…continuing trend of young english prem players moving for development and opportunity…massive club [Juve]…let’s hope he settles and does business’

    Also replies to someone who says ‘youngsters have no choice, path blocked, clubs not making use of talent, will learn to do so in a few years’- spot on

    Fair enough, but always there’s this assumption that better opportunities- at Benfica, Barca, juve, so on- await than do here.

    At present, there’s zero proof that’s the case, neither for the English lads who have tried so far nor, really *, in terms of those clubs records of bringing youngsters through vs ours.

    Benfica, like all Portuguese clubs, have a good record, in fairness. Barca had that run of phenomenal world class talents.

    Anyway, this trend will continue for a few years at least, and perhaps all it will take is for one of the moves to work big time to keep it going longer and make it an easier sell for agents.

    Anyway, it will be good for the game here- national team and if players return after success abroad- if decent numbers go and adapt and do well.

    The old Arsenal hat is fairly welded on me though, so I’m not too pleased about the trend.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. I think English lads moving abroad is a good thing. If any of them make it at the highest level then it opens up a whole continent of clubs to English players by opening up the eyes of youngsters to the possibilities.

    Not being miked up because of swearing is a dead letter. All you need is a delay to beep out the swearing.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Haven’t checked in for a while, there’s been a lot going on. Looks like I picked a bad day to drop back in.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. rich, willock is with benfica b, mcguane is with barca b, and now mavididi is with juve b, so they all left Arsenal reserves for someone elses reserves. the only difference is that those other clubs reserves sides play in their countries lower leagues.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. New post up


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