Arsenal: The murmur of success in the Land of Giants



Good afternoon or p’nawn da Positive Gooners,

A thoroughly entertaining game in Cardiff, though at times I admit I was a little ‘tense’. Three points banked in the PL nevertheless and a professional win in the sort of stadium environment we have buckled in before.

Of our lads I hardly need to enquire who would be the unanimously elected Man of the Match do I?  Alexander Lacazette was superb today throughout the 90 minutes, producing what was his best performance ever in the Arsenal shirt.A week ago the ‘Ammers own goal robbed Laca of the plaudits, Fate did not quibble today. TH Frenchman’s  movement was intelligent and crisp. He controlled the ball, rarely wasted a  lay off, and was constantly AVAILABLE for a pass from team-mates, ready to collect the ball, and turn an opponent. Cardiff did not know how to play him and never had him worked out. That his third Arsenal goal was decisive, the winner, was suitable reward for the excellence of his effort.

Other notable performances from Hector, who had a right battle with Hoillett all game, and from both central defenders who had a hard afternoon against an enormous Bluebirds line at dead ball situations. The marking went wrong once but the other 12 times we resisted the bombardment well. And Auba ? Super goal.

You may have noticed and enjoyed Torreira’s contribution after his introduction in the 71st minute. Again he is a very tidy player who, when he gets the ball, never loses or wastes it. He is blessed with a tiny turning circle. Second point though, Lucas was fouled twice, and for both fouls the Cardiff player was carded, with our Uruguayan rolling  about with commendable brio. The game was broken up, the Welsh stopped in their tracks for a minute each time, while our player recovered. Is this a little of the black art, the Latin art,  that is required in the closing stages of games ?

I suspect the Xhaka fan club may not have had an easy afternoon with the Swiss accident prone, and Emery and the “passing-out-from-the-back” programme may need a little more, actually a lot, lot more, work. I shall take the points without embarrassment as the better football side won.

Of Cardiff they will struggle. I did not see one player who looked above decent Championship standard. The Welsh side have heart in spades, but no art.  Great support  from both sets of fans.

Enjoy the remainder of your Sunday.

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55 comments on “Arsenal: The murmur of success in the Land of Giants

  1. A5’s previews come quicker than a virgin at a brothel.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yes it was quite hairy at times; often at moments when Cech had the ball at his feet. Twice in the first half he offered up presentable scoring opportunities to Cardiff. I think this is something he’s never going to be comfortable with (old dog, new tricks etc) and we shouldn’t be waiting for the inevitable disaster and play Leno in his place. Peter has had a marvellous career at the very top and IMO should be ‘warming down’ now.
    Obviously the coaching staff see it differently and have confidence in his ability to make the necessary adjustments to his game. But from a spectators point of view it looks misguided.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. That should be: from THIS spectators view. No need to upset people is there?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. After spending 10 minutes explaining to my youngest (who thinks Xhaka shouldn’t be in the first eleven) the Adrian Clarke analysis of his importance he goes and makes me look q knob with 30 seconds to go to halftime.
    For all his good work if he keeps proving a liability then much like Cech they will be on the bench.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. On the money Andrew.

    At that moment Torreira for Guendouzi was the sub many yearned for and just like last weekend, he immediately brought balance to the team. If Unai drafted Lacazette into the starting line-up after performances that couldn’t go unnoticed hopefully the same goes for Torreira. For all young Guendouzi’s exciting talents, his inclusion doesn’t help in terms of balance as Arsenal is the one PL sides who have the most goal scoring chances against them. Who knows, Torreira starting may even improve that “passing out the back” routine.

    Like you too many heart in the throat stuff, but taking that 3 points without shame and enjoy the FIFA break with much happiness.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I see in the previous post Torreira’s stats were up which looked good Labo. He is certainly a player to bring on when you want the sting taken out of the game.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. anicol done me again with the unexpected post. Reposting here with only a little sheepishness.


    Said I’d take any win, and happy to get the win. Pretty good in attack at times and two excellent goals.1st good as well.

    Particularly loved Lacazette’s goal. Something of the striker classic about it- with the movement, body position, touch and then tremendous power shot.

    I’m expecting plenty more from Torreira in mould of his assist as well. Didn’t look the most difficult of passes yet suspect many wouldn’t play it, nor execute it so well if they did.

    He needs a top brain and excellent technique to compensate for being an absolute tiddler, and not a quick one. Confident that is the case.

    Probably time now after break to give Guendouzi a breather to allow him to reflect on a very positive start and go again.

    Advantage of Torreira in sub role is that it’s normally better to have the more experienced option on bench ready to come on if team needs something extra or different.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. As for defending with giants about. Seen plenty of stats which suggest my hankering for a tall centre back aerial monster is misguided or at least overdone.

    Indeed today we generally coped well under heavy pressure in air.

    Mustafi’s goal showed a good cross and good movement can get better of bigger players on occasion.

    Still though, can’t help feeling that on a significant percentage of crosses into box each season smaller defenders are powerless on one’s a bigger defender could compete for.

    No Giroud any more either and he was a big help on set pieces.

    Cost of a good big un pretty alarming, but hoping one day soon we pay it, or Sven works some real magic on an up-and-comer.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Fecking Spurs with a very fluky goal after, apparently, a scrappy game so far.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Fecking Spurs with equal spawniness at the other end. Then Dembele being a dirty bastard, like every game, and for once booked for it.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. And then Cathcart !

    Liked by 1 person

  12. The luck runs out for the neighbours

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I think the biggest problem Cech has with playing out from the back, is similar to many keepers, he is not comfortable to play first time passes, and so attackers closing him down know he is looking to take a second or even third touch, so they will charge in. Cech knows they are coming and so gets a little jittery. If we are to persist with playing out then its has to be Leno sooner rather than later.
    As good as Cech has been shot stopping so far this season, we have let in 8 goals in 4 games, so again it does not look like we have much to lose by giving Leno his chance.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. saxon71
    ‏ @stuafc71
    16m16 minutes ago

    There it is @9smudge when spurs lose says

    “It’s the premier league these can happen, all games are hard.”

    But when arsenal lose its end of the world and should win every game

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Unai Emery took plenty of positives from Sunday’s win over Cardiff City – and you can find out exactly what he said right here.

    The head coach fielded questions on Mesut Ozil, our strikers, Lucas Torreira and the tactic of playing the ball out from the back. Here’s a transcript:

    on Arsenal’s character…
    The reaction was very important. We have done it in each match, and today it was the same. It was the same [reaction] when we needed to win [this game] after they equalised twice. I think the reaction was very good for continuing with our personality. The most important was to be calm and continue working. They found chances and options in the match to score with their attacking movements, and we need to continue to improve in our defensive movements. Also in our box, not conceding these chances to the opposition. Cardiff had strong moments but before that, I think we controlled the match. With this way, we won.

    on how good the Lacazette and Aubameyang partnership can be…
    They are playing in the position, they are playing minutes in each match and today they started. We are continuing working on the combination on the pitch between the players, and also keeping our mentality and our ideas. Today I think the performance of the two players, with their goals, helped us. We can continue to work to find the best individual performance and quality from each player.

    on Lacazette’s performance…
    I spoke with him because I knew him at Lyon. I know he has a great capacity to score when he’s in the box and when the team give him good chances. He has very good scoring data and today he showed us. It’s good for his confidence, this match and this goal, plus this victory for the team. Many important things happened today on the pitch.

    on Torreira – and what he needs to do to start…
    He’s improving and getting to know his teammates. For me, all the minutes he’s playing are very important for the performance. [He needs] to continue working. Every minute they are playing, they are [improving] their performances. It’s very important also for me to have another [option] in midfield. Matteo has started very well in the Premier League. Xhaka is very important for us and Elneny is working well every day. We need good players and good commitment when they are on the pitch. Lucas is like that.

    on whether he’s still confident that Cech can play out from the back…
    He’s progressing. He has experience and he is intelligent and he is doing what we want to do to win with our jobs and work on the pitch. It’s very important for me to continue doing this and improving. If you play every time long balls, you lose possession and momentum. We take risks in moments of the match, but when you break their pressing on the pitch you can find space for attacking the opposition. It is for that it’s clear you can maybe do one mistake like today and one action, but we need to continue with this personality. We need to continue also then to do the mix, to [play a] long ball with the space for the first action, and the second action to win possession on the pitch and then continue going forward to the opposition goal.

    on conceding to a set-piece…
    For us it’s also very important today for the first goal from the corner for Mustafi and I think we are creating chances from every free-kick and corner chances for us to score. And also, their strongest moments are in free-kicks, in throw-ins and long balls into our box. It’s for that we know and we are working and we want today to do better in these situations of defending moments. Morrison is very important for them in these actions and his performance is good for them, but I think we can work to improve that.

    on Mesut Ozil coming back into the side…
    I want to give every player the same condition and every player is very important, but with Ozil and his quality I think we need to give us his moment in the match with his quality for the team. I think today in the second half he played a good match because he worked every minute that he was on the pitch. And maybe with the control and possession in the second half and the positions on the pitch, he feels better on the pitch.

    Copyright 2018 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to http://www.arsenal.com as the source.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. On this day in 2013: Mesut Özil moved from Real Madrid to Arsenal in a club record £42.5m deal

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Nice one Andrew,I like our little Uruguayan. Still lots of work on the training ground to do,we’re gonna have to be patient,but there’s some good signs..

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Re Iwobi’s cold; it’s hardly surprising if you allow a man with laryngitis into the dressing room on match day. Just asking for trouble.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Liked by 2 people

  20. Something just came back to me about Arteta. I saw him playing for Everton at Charlton in 2006. it was the worst game I’ve ever seen with my own eyes, but the one player who made any sense of the whole thing was Arteta, and he was on the right wing. He spent a lot of his career out wide before moving into the middle.

    How do deep-lying playmakers come about? For the most part they move to that role after playing further forward, and it only happens once they’ve mastered the art of controlling a match. I don’t know if there was some sort of transfiguration when Pirlo reached a higher plain with Baggio in Majesty at Brescia. I would have liked to have seen it.

    But can they be made? Are there apprentice DLPs? People say that Xhaka is unlucky because all his bad passes are punished, but that’s down to the responsibility that he takes on in that position. That role requires you to be immaculate, mentally and technically.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. George although you are right about defending after the loss of possession, the incident happened with just 30 seconds to go to halftime at a time we had been under pressure and with two ten yard safer balls on. For a experiened player to make such a poor descion was criminal. I can understand Xhaka gets much undew criticism and passes especially long ones go astray on this occasion he fucked up big time the goal was avoidable mainly by him.
    Yes he did play well but like Sanchez he sometimes undoes the good work by big mistakes. I really want him to do well however the team is getting better so he just needs to cut out some of the mistakes keep his place.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Liked by 1 person

  23. I’m on a business trip in Brussels. Had my phone on silent but would vibrate everytime the Arsenal app reported a goal. I thought it was over at 2:2. Then the internet went down and when I finally reconnected 10 mins later the belated third goal came through. By then it was a coffee brake and I was able to smile at my colleagues….

    Liked by 2 people

  24. just watched Match of the Day, bad news, I’m not sure Arsenal won today, in fact it looked like we lost.

    Liked by 3 people

  25. Didn’t get to watch the game or follow it
    So when I went looking for the result I started with the cricket score. With relief I noted that the celebratory pictures indicated a win. I then moved on to formula one and let out a quiet yeeesss when the headlines showed Hamilton had emerged triumphant. Surely this was an indication the gods were with Arsenal! The three two result was characteristic Arsenal. Without reading the match report I knew it was one of those where for most part of the game folks had their hearts in their mouth. And so it proved
    Dodgy defending as usual shaky bringing the ball out the back poor decision making leading to a goal the works.
    But the attacking quality and the quality of the goals more than made up for the shambling defending. And we could have had six or seven such was the menace of the attack.
    So it appears Emery has got the attack ticking over he just needs to go back to the drawing board with regards to defence.
    He will have at some point to consider Torreira as a starter as mistakes by others give him no option.
    He will also have to change tactic to support the fullbacks without curtailing their attacking contribution. Seems like Arsene he could switch to a back three especially if Kos is fit.
    As for march of the day well Arsenal fans are used to loosing games on match of the day regardless of the real score.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Thanks for the review Anicoll. I didn’t see the game yesterday but checked score updates regularly and like Georgaki, I thought it was over at 2-2….so thank you too Laca! Unai did say he’d sooner take a 5-4 win than a 1-0 win so we should expect more results in the form of the last couple of matches. I do hope the performances improve though cos I miss Wengerball.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. We had Wengerball yesterday for the first four minutes when we nearly scored without Cardiff touching the ball

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Not sure whether you guys have read @BabaGrumpy’s beautiful written piece on Arsène Wenger’s recent visit to Liberia yet. Anyways….


    Liked by 3 people

  29. Still trying to work out what we are trying to do that causes so many scary moments, however we have a manager with a good track record, so guess we just have to give him backing, trust, and time, after all and as we know, Arsenal fans have patience in abundance.
    This is going to be quite a bumpy ride this season, this team are clearly in transition and will develop their new style of play, at their best, can be like Wengerball on speed, when our fantastic attacking players click, they can negate other issues that will clearly take time, but at their worst, well, I will heed advice a while back from Rosicky spare a site named Positively Arsenal my views on some slightly frightening aspects of our play this time! But I am sure such issues will improve.
    Still, two wins in a row, scoring lots of very decent goals now. And the players are clearly putting in a shift. And some,perhaps overdue cynicism creeping in as well it seems if you can’t beat em, join em rather than become a victim and all that, just as long as no leg breakers allowed which appears to be the case.
    On another note, remember the stick Wenger got last year for the ref assisted Tom Daley diving display defeat at Vicarage Rd? A lot of it was from ex player rentagob types. Just hope they are equally critical on their beloved.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Truly inspiring stuff LaboGoon, wengers qualities as a manager as well as a human being have transcended the game.
    Most of his ex players (except bitter rentagobs) revere him, even those who chose paths at other teams

    Liked by 2 people

  31. A silly thought crossed my mind this morning with regard to the superb pass that Cech made early in the game that should have seen us go behind. He was clearly under pressure and didn’t look comfortable, so no great surprise to see him pass it to a blue shirt.

    Liked by 3 people

  32. Good read babba grumpy as always.
    But do people realise Wengers eye for making Presidents apart from footballers?

    Liked by 1 person

  33. **in addition to footballers .**

    Liked by 2 people

  34. So people stilll positive over yesterdays performance ?
    Maybe the attack showed some intent but defence was shambles.
    And it was only Cardiff……
    I pray for the Arsenal.


  35. Just watched highlights of the game and seen the dubious free kick from the phantom foul that led to Cardiff’s second goal. The guy literally just tripped over fresh air from what I saw.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. The Arter free kick was bollocks – very very slight contact if any, and did you see the way the Cardiff player shrieked in agony as he went down ? What a cheating c*nt – simple as 5k

    The Sokratis challenge in the box clambering over the Cardiff player about 60-90 seconds before that Arter cheatfest though – I’ve seen ’em given Glen- I’ve seen ’em given.

    I suspect with VAR that ugly, stupid, grapple would have been a stone penalty and I think our Greek defender, already on a yellow card, also might have been required to spend his afternoon elsewhere.

    But that is just me (winkey thing)

    Liked by 1 person

  37. former Liverpool defender Stephane Henchoz doesn’t want Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka as Switzerland’s vice-captain, as he is not fully Swiss. It seems more than Germany have a problem.

    Liked by 2 people

  38. Arsenal include Bramall, Iliev and 12 new scholars in Premier League squad

    by jeorge bird


    Arsenal have submitted their Premier League squad, with Cohen Bramall and Deyan Iliev both named on the senior list.

    Despite being part of the first-team squad, Matteo Guendouzi, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Konstantinos Mavropanos are listed as under-21 players.

    Arsenal have been able to include all of the players currently at the club, with the exception of the senior players out on loan – David Ospina, Calum Chambers, Takuma Asano and Matt Macey.

    There are ten homegrown players on Arsenal’s senior list – Hector Bellerin, Bramall, Rob Holding, Iliev, Alex Iwobi, Carl Jenkinson, Emiliano Martinez, Aaron Ramsey and Danny Welbeck.

    All of the new scholars are included on the under-21 list, including recent signings Karl Hein, Sam Greenwood and Joel Lopez.

    Aubameyang, Pierre-Emerick
    Bellerin, Hector*
    Bramall, Cohen
    Cech, Petr
    Elneny, Mohamed Naser Elsayed
    Holding, Robert Samuel*
    Iliev, Deyan*
    Iwobi, Alex*
    Jenkinson, Carl Daniel*
    Kolasinac, Sead
    Koscielny, Laurent
    Lacazette, Alexandre
    Leno, Bernd
    Lichtsteiner, Stephan
    Martinez, Damian Emiliano*
    Mkhitaryan, Henrikh
    Monreal, Ignacio
    Mustafi, Shkodran
    Ozil, Mesut
    Papastathopoulos, Sokratis
    Ramsey, Aaron James*
    Torreira, Lucas
    Welbeck, Daniel*
    Xhaka, Granit

    Under-21 players (Contract and Scholars)

    Alebiousu, Ryan
    Amaechi, Xavier Casmier
    Ballard, Daniel George
    Balogun, Folarin Jerry
    Barden, Daniel
    Bielik, Krystian
    Bola, Tolaji
    Burton, Robert
    Clarke, Harrison Thomas
    Cottrell, Ben
    Coyle, Trae
    Daley-Campbell, Vontae
    Dennis, Matthew
    Flaherty, Stanley James
    Gilmour, Charlie Ian
    Greenwood, Sam
    Guendouzi, Matteo
    Hein, Karl Jakob
    John-Jules, Tyreece Romayo
    Lopez Salguero, Joel
    Maitland-Niles, Ainsley
    Martin, Joshua
    Matthews, Alfie
    Mavropanos, Konstantinos
    McEneff, Jordan John
    McGuinness, Mark James
    Medley, Zechariah Joshua Henry
    Nelson, Reiss
    Nketiah, Edward
    Nwakali, Kelechi
    Okonkwo, Arthur
    Olayinka, Olujimi James Ayodele
    Olowu, Joseph Olugbenga
    Omole, Tobi
    Osei-Tutu, Jordi
    Pleguezuelo, Julio Jose
    Saka, Bukayo
    Sheaf, Ben
    Smith Rowe, Emile
    Smith, Matthew Gerrard
    Smith, Tom
    Spencer-Adams, Bayli Alexander
    Swanson, Zak
    Thompson, Dominic
    Tormey, Nathan Alexander
    Willock, Joseph George
    Zelalem, Gedion

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Gideon is now 46 and definitely not U21

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Eduardo, if Hehchoz wants to be like that, I hope he applies the same to Switzerlands greatest ever sportsman, Roger Federer who, despite being born in Switzerland, holds citizenship of that country, and also South Africa, thanks to his mothers nationality. He is at pains to say how proud he is of his African roots.
    Which makes him not completely Swiss I guess.
    Splitting hairs a bit, but Henchoz just shouldn’t go there ,although those with an agenda just cannot help themselves.

    Liked by 3 people

  41. Rosicky, you are correct, defending is a problem, it has been for some time, there have been times this season and last when I long for the days of Kos and Per with Szcz sharing the golden glove with Cech, the days when Cech would just hit a long ball to Giroud who would lay it off to someone rather than our number one trying to be Cesc fabregas.
    But it seems we must travel in a different direction, and are not yet there.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. It must be difficult to make a living as a Swiss pundit in English football – there are so few players to make controversial comments about.

    Liked by 2 people

  43. AFCPressWatch
    ‏ @AFCPressWatch2

    Unai Emery is set to meet Arsène Wenger at the 20th UEFA Elite Club Coaches Forum in Nyon on Tuesday 4 September (14:00-18:30 CET). #AFC #Arsenal

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Very true anicoll @ 11.06, but there I am sure somewhere, is a maxim in the sports media – if in doubt, or suffering a lack of interesting material to report on, just lay into an Arsenal player, works every time, at least in the UK.

    Liked by 3 people

  45. Odd to hear Henchoz saying that about Xhaka on same day I read similar comments from another ex Swiss international Turkyilmaz.

    Latter’s were even dodgier, saying Xhaka shouldn’t be captain because he is not traditional Swiss, then something along lines of watching world cup game with, presumably traditional, Swiss friends and them getting no joy even when team did well. Heavily critical of the world cup eagle celebrations and says they shouldn’t have played if known beforehand they would do it.

    Unless there’s a real possibility at moment of Xhaka being made captain of Swiss, why are these guys talking?

    Really hope it’s not a case of English press seeking them out. That would mean things have gone to next level in targeting of him.

    Liked by 4 people

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