Arsenal Taking Goals To Newcastle


A nostalgic look back, no wait – back to our away-winning ways with Unai Emery

by @ArsenalAndrew

Once upon a time, any action that could be likened to “taking coal to Newcastle” was the sign of a needlessly pointless activity.

That Arsenal scored two goals and, for the first time in a year, earned maximum points from two consecutive away games, can be considered anything but pointless.

That our current go-to whipping boys found themselves richly rewarded at the goal-face could really have only been bettered had the these-days-permanently-errant Hector Bellerin found himself also on the scoresheet. It never fails to amuse me when this happens, not least because it happens a lot. ‘Useless Xhaka’ and ‘Lazy Ozil’ both inconveniently on target to ruin the naysayers’ current targets of choice. Almost worth a point in itself in my mischievous book.

And of this game of two halves itself?

Well a flattish first half was quickly superseded by a super-charged second which had most observers nodding sagely on the evident efficacy of Gunner Emery’s Half-Time Talk.

That such a talk was considered necessary was perhaps the only disappointment against a poor team trying to sell itself to the highest – or indeed any – bidder. The pre-match Geordie protest, said to have centred on the club shop, brings back the less than fondly remembered recent ‘protests’ of our own but whilst our Kroenke worries (if indeed such ‘worries’ are a ‘thing’) are unlikely to get relegated any time soon, the Emery honeymoon period continues with some gusto as we hurtle towards October.

At the start of the season I suggested, with profound wisdom, that it would be 10 games before we could make any half-stab of a judgement on Unai.  And, still safely stroking my chin, I stand by that, five games in, with three wins, two defeats and zero draws under his belt. Drawing any kind of conclusion, let alone matches, feels a little beyond the likes of most of us this early into the season, though I know it won’t stop some from sticking their reckless necks out.

Personally I’ve not learned all that much from the new boss’s post or pre-match ‘pressers’ but that possibly says more about me than him. I frankly don’t expect to hear that much from a man so recently appointed to a role where the previous incumbent’s mastery of the media was so evident for so long. Wisely, UE is doing his talking on the pitch, largely. Or at least in the half-time dressing room. This semi-silent approach has certain positives and negatives – the most notable being that in the absence of an actual story – or even a real sound-bite snippet – the usual media culprits won’t shy away from quite literally making stuff up that is immediately repeated as fact, throughout the online world.

I can not recall a single season since before Wenger (BW) when I have paid less attention to so called ‘news’ about Arsenal. Like taking coals to Newcastle, I can hardly think of anything more pointless than to read the half-witted ramblings of a headline desperate Daily Mirror, for example.

I note we still have many wonderful players for the new manager to call upon and Ramsey is still at the club (for now). But along with Wenger, sentiment largely left the club last Spring.  Aside from the bloodbath amongst the back room staff (at least some of it hard to fathom), the heavy influx of new players and the steady stream of player exits suggests a work very much in progress. The significance of Match Day 10 will give us an idea of how long Emery is likely to continue this revolution. On current form, he may well end up on 6 wins and 4 defeats which would be enough to put us far off the pace of the league leaders, yet high enough up the league to allow further progress to be attempted, with the next transfer window becoming the next moment of truth for the post-Wenger set-up.

At the very least, as insurance, Emery needs to deliver us the Laughing At Spurs Trophy and to do that he may need to be blessed with the great good fortune of their continued collapse, as our homeless, hapless neighbours look anything but ‘grounded’ this season (feeble pun intended).  In some ways, sadly, failing on this point may have been Wenger’s greatest crime in the eyes of the ‘average’ AFC fan, whoever he/she is.

Personally I suspect a fifth or sixth-place season finish is on the cards as it’s hard to imagine our Kroenke-reined-in budget (boo, hiss) will allow for much more given the expansive budgets of most of our nearest rivals (no I’m not looking at Watford, before you ask).

But a win:lose ratio of 3:2 by season’s end is unlikely to see a parting of the ways for young Emery. On the other hand, those recently joined fans who became ‘Arsenal’ on the back of Le Prof’s success and who, in the sporting world’s most richly ironic moment, became his fiercest critics, may just get bored and clear off. To leave those of us who could appreciate a good ‘1-0 to the Arsenal’ scoreline from the BW days which was as aspirational as it was factual.

As yesterday’s scoreline suggested, getting the ‘nil’ back into the AFC scoreline could prove Unai’s greatest challenge and, ironically, his ability to dig up the next Adams, Winterburn, Dixon etc, could be the key to his own longevity at the club.

And who’s going to queue up to appear on the ever-lamentable AFTV, with those kind of results? Consistent, albeit unspectacular victories are hardly going to generate the online hits of old.

Oh dear, online world, what have you done?!

About ArsenalAndrew

Annoying, perennial optimist and lifelong supporter of the finest football club the world has ever seen. My support for the club manager and every single player is non-negotiable, yesterday, today and tomorrow. Retain all options on fellow fans.

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121 comments on “Arsenal Taking Goals To Newcastle

  1. Easy but a pedestrian game so far. Great goal in the break. You can tell the Ukrainians cannot keep defending and chasing the ball second and fatigue appears to be setting in. I think we will see more goals second half.
    Sokratis I should say keeps impressing with every game. Great reader of the game and has surprising pace. He seems to relish the premier League and again tonight has been excellent.
    Torreira once again has show his class and easily the stand out midfielder.
    Eleneny has been busy but not offered much attacking wise. Mikki appears out of sorts somewhat. Great play to start the break but often he has just seemed a little bit short, poor positioning, lacks sharpness.
    Welbs really hasn’t been in the game given how deep the Ukrainians have been.
    Leno you can just see how much confidence he has with his passing and playing from the back. It’s not just how good he is with his feet, it’s his body shape and balance which means he adjusts better and quicker than Cech

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good to see Torreira gritting his teeth and carrying on – a twist as he fell but also a boot game down on his foot as he landed.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. welbeckkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk 2-0

    iwobi to mkhitaryan whose cross into the six yard box is headed home by dat guy

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Aubameyanggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg 3-0

    fine finish from outside the area

    Aubameyang and Torreira subbed off, Ozil and Guenduezi on

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Iwobi subbed off, Smith-Rowe on for his first team debut

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ozillllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll 4-0

    Sokratis lofted pass to Lichtsteiner in the area who put across an even higher lofted cross to the six yard box where Mesut prods home

    Liked by 2 people

  7. the visitors get a goal from just inside the area, one of their CBs blasted an unstoppable shot high into the net

    Liked by 1 person

  8. with the last kick of the game the visitors blast another shot to the back of the net,
    Arsenal win 4-2, controlled the game for the most part, scored 4 nice goals, but still no clean sheet this season.

    Iwobi impressive, Aubameyang with 2 goals to become our top scorer this season, Welbeck and Ozil with the other goals, Ozil good when he came on too. Smith-rowe with his first team debut.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Ok I will ignore the two goals they scored as defence wise I am resigned to us conceding even when the opposition are not particularly trying to score.
    So the big deal for
    Guendozi 19Toreirra 22
    Smith Rowe 18
    Nketia 19
    Iwobi 22
    Reiss Nelson 18
    If these players establish themselves we could be looking another you don’t win anything with kids moment What a talented bunch of young lads

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Forgot Hector at 23 and Maitland Niles at 21

    Liked by 1 person

  11. A bit sloppy at the end, but just keep those goals and wins coming

    Liked by 2 people

  12. It’s a shame the clean sheet went begging again, because Sokratis really deserved it.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I was enjoying that until the 2 sloppy goals we conceded at the end. Emery still has his work cut out to sort that little conundrum! I thought Iwobi had a good game tonight – he kept on trying things, not all came off, but he had a big say in most of our goals tonight, so well played young man. I was also pleased that Smith-Rowe got his chance for a cameo late on and did not seem over-awed.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I see I’m not the only one to think Iwobi had a good game. You wouldn’t think so judging by some of the comments from so called ‘supporters’ around me tonight!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Good evening to start our Europa adventure I thought.

    Period from 1st goal to 4th or a while after was particularly enjoyable, and another lesson about the difference space makes (or as the sage Savage noted, after first goal ‘look at that. First time they attack them with speed they score’ ) and why teams park the bus in the first place.

    Iwobi and Sokratis both impressed, Guendouzi caught the eye, Aubameyang once in his groove looked lethal. Happy to see a glimpse of Smith-Rowe.

    Maybe no need to dwell on the lost clean sheet on this occassion. Credit to Ukrainians for keeping going and rewarding fans with two good finishes.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Nice also to watch Santi in action yesterday.

    After reading what he’d been through, I feared his body wouldn’t hold up to professional football again but i think that’s now 5 games for him.

    Didn’t notice any sprints but he did go in for one sliding tackle and the quality still very much there on the ball.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. Yes, lovely ball for Villareal’s 2nd goal

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Sokratis looked like a different player when played as the right sided partner at the back; more confident and more effective. When they switched over late in the game we conceded twice, Maybe a coincidence but it will have been noted by the coaches.

    Liked by 3 people

  19. New post up

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Insideright,
    I’ve been enjoying watching Sokratis settle in to the role at LCB the last few matches, steadily impressive performances but Everton will be another level to recent opposition, the toughest test for the defenders since Chelsea.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Not if they play like they did against the Appy Ammers they wont be

    Liked by 2 people

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