158 Comments

Arsenal: Checked Progress

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Good afternoon Positives,

Two points less than I was hoping for but on the balance of play between the teams a fair result. I had been hoping for a sharp start from us but it was Palace who came at us in the opening stages and but for some good defending from Shkodran and wayward finishing by Tottie reject Townsend we might have been behind. I thought we resisted  well but were far below the required standard once we got the ball over the half way line in the first 45. We could not string two passes together. I think Hector had one shot that was blocked, after which he was hobbling, but Hennessy had a v quiet half.

The first penalty ? We were almost at the half time whistle and our concentration dropped. Panic in the box from a corner for the first and only time all afternoon. Clumsy from Mustafi as he clattered into Coyote but not much he could do about it as the ball was bouncing free.

And then, dear reader, as happens game after game and week after week, we sprung into life after the break and hit then with the old 1-2. If I had any idea why we play football this way and the first and second halves don’t fit I would  write it down. I expect Unai would say the same. For the only time n the afternoon we took control of the game for 10 minutes.

Lovely strike from Xhaka then our turn to cause panic in the Palace box before PEA slipped in the second goal from a loose, spinning ball. The Man from Gabon thought a split second faster than his marker and that difference meant his foot go to the ball first. Nine millimetres over the line ? Fine margins but top, top quality finishing.

I expected ghat, having got in front and being in control at the time, we would carry on and get a third but Palace refused to follow the script. The home side surged forward and while Bernd did not have a serious save to make the ball was pinging around the Arsenal penalty box erratically. It was not smooth from us at all. When we did break with the ball and cross the half way line our close control and choice of passes was wayward. At no time did we ever look like adding to our goal tally, which in the end did for us.

Fair play to Hodgson – Palace have one player capable of turning a game on his own and that is Zaha who had given first Hector then Stephan a difficult time, “Get the ball to Willfweed’s feet lads” Woy yelled and lo and behold he did the proverbial trick. Couple of stepovers, Granit backed into the box, slightest of touches and over he goes. Cheating, cheating, cheating bastard. But hey ho. They probably deserved a point. We have sustained a mild setback, nothing more. Re-group, learn, move on.

My Man of the Match is Granit. At times I could see him looking over at Emery during the first half and mouthing silently “OI – BOSS – I – AM – NOT- A – LEFT- BACK”. Despite the Swiss’s obvious discomfort he did a good job on Townsend and, even with Zaha’s theatrics, had a good afternoon in a position that he clearly is not comfortable in. Add to that a superb free kick for the equalizing goal and this week the laurel wreath is yours.

Blackpool midweek and a really attractive contest between Klopp’s men and our lads  to kick off next Saturday late afternoon. We shall need all our energy and guile to earn the victory.

Enjoy what is left of Sunday.

 

About anicoll5

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

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158 comments on “Arsenal: Checked Progress

  1. Interesting second half, huh? If Guendouzi needed to learn a lesson & takes this one on board, that could be a long-term positive. In the short term, though, his absence could be felt on Saturday.

    Agree with Eddy that Jenko & Pleggy were both very good, mature even. They may have played themselves into contention for upcoming Europa League matches.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. It’s boost having Ainsley back & he did well for his hour on the pitch. Smith Rowe now making scoring a habit. Considering there were two red cards I thought it was quite a clean game & the ref was very good.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Carabao Cup Quarter-Final draw in full.

    • Arsenal Vs. Spurs.
    • Leicester/S’ton Vs. City/Fulham.
    • Middlesbrough Vs. Burton.
    • Chelsea Vs. Bournemouth.

    Ties from December 17th.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Whoa, 12 games from Nov 25 to Jan 1st.

    Be great if we can beat Sporting and seal group, as we’re in Ukraine Thurs 29 and playing Spurs on Sunday Dec 2nd,

    Qarabag Thurs Dec 13, with Saints early kickoff Sunday Dec 16.

    Will help a lot if our place already confirmed (1st if we beat them?)

    Plenty else going on with an intense schedule.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Try watch highlights of Spurs West Ham if you think he had to book Guendouzi.

    Walker-Peters wrestles- both arms,doesn’t let go as they run and then crash to ground, – Antonio to ground while he is breaking into dangerous channel high up pitch.

    Commentator says ‘yellow card this time?’ meaning either he has got away with stuff before or the team has. They show the replay, a very very blatant yellow.

    Commentator says, rightly, while watching replay , ‘has to be a booking’

    To his surprise, but not mine, it isn’t; he opts for the old talking to instead.

    The problem isn’t normally that they invent stuff from thin air for us, it’s that they so rarely turn down the chance to go against us or show any of that sort of leniency, but they do elsewhere, endlessly where Spurs and their dirty tricks are concerned.

    Watch it. It’s unbelievable not to book him for it. A touch of young player sympathy maybe, away from home, while we get none at home?

    Anyway, it might well help Guendouzi in long run if he can get good advice and take it.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Remember the Eric Dier shirt pull back of Giroud that Bendy Micky Oliver never gave a yellow for? There is one rule for Spuds and others Man U too. Absolute letter of the law to us. The missed corners Matteo was moaning about looked like he was saying he had nothing on the headset at one point, MArtin Twatkinson 4th official and Piggy mob VAR. What a surprise.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. New post up

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