Arsenal: Footsteps in the Sand


Good morning All Positives,

A quick word about what turned out to be an interesting game last night. The chosen team to face the Seasiders had a hint of the ‘old days’ of the Carling Cup  in it, with a number of new and youthful faces, as well as more experienced faces returning after injury, in the starting line up.

First half ? Well that went pretty much to plan with Blackpool a bit over-awed from what I could see as we pressed them back and created openings. Presumably their strategy was to frustrate us with ten men behind the ball and hope for a breakaway or an eventual dead-ball chance which, as matters panned out, was an (almost) spot-on approach.

A tidy  opener from Lichtsteiner, a clever slanted pass cut the visitors rearguard open, and a controlled finish from our Swiss elder statesman. For a bloke who scores once every Preston Guild* he was very calm, a quality some of our more regular goalscorers might look at this morning.

Second half ? More of the same and a second goal courtesy of good work by Carl J , who enjoyed his evening and looked in good fettle. The  finish by Smith Rowe, thumping the shot into the ground and through 4-5 Blackpool players in front of him, was also better than it looked at first sight.

At which stage, 49 minutes, we were floating along, easy win, and I think we relaxed, slipped the shoes off, gently closed the eyes for a moment. And why not eh ………….?


Well we all know what happens when you take your eye off the ball.

Matteo’s second yellow was unfortunate. A sly little tug on his part which, I agree with the young Frenchman, would in many games not be noticed and in others not attract a  yellow. However mon ami you did not need to do it, you were already on the Ref’s radar having been in his ear frequently all evening, and you were already in his black book. Guendouzi is an old head on young shoulders, huge talent and as on Sunday there at Selhurst Park will be times to take a yellow for the team,  but I hope he learned a lesson last night.

As for the consequences as I understood it he misses the next Caribo game. According to Arse.com the consequences are more severe ??

“on Guendouzi’s suspension and missing Liverpool…” 

Or have I misunderstood the headline ?

And after that the game was open, Blackpool scored a throughly deserved first goal, made two other good chances, and Cech’s moment of ineptitude nearly drove us all over the edge. For the Blackpool fans a session of attacking play from their players well worth the trip. We stuck at it and the job was done. The cherry on the evening’s cake was the draw and the Totties at home. That will be a grand evening.

My man of the match – the bloke in the photo. Nothing spectacular but a good performance on an evening when he was a lot busier than expected. Steady Pleggy.

Enjoy Thursday.

*For any Blackpool fans who may be reading

50 comments on “Arsenal: Footsteps in the Sand

  1. Morning Andrew, everybody.

    Good to see us rest players ahead of Liverpool AND avoid the Halloween Banana Skin of Disappointment that threatened to beckon. A threat that admittedly only tends to materialise if the minor side decides THIS is their cup final and that only generally seems to happen when the game is being televised live.

    Interesting to see the Corporal back (who would have thought, especially after all this time?) and hopefully some red card lessons were also learnt.

    It was a little disappointing to see how empty the stadium appeared to be but then the Tinies couldn’t even sell out for their visit from the Champions (no less) on Monday so maybe the thirst for midweek matches has been largely quenched, this side of Xmas, at least? It’s wet, dark and cold – but that’s enough of Tottenham’s immediate prospects!

    Roll on Saturday (helmets on!).

    Liked by 2 people

  2. It’s Liverpool he misses Andy.

    Not sure if it used to be a sending off in Carling cup means suspension only applies there- don’t think so, how would a three-game ban work?- but it isn’t now anyway.

    Dim memories of some bans not kicking in immediately, but maybe they were just contested ones (or i’ve imagined it)

    Supposedly Emery has said after game it means he’ll have to change plans as Matteo was due to be involved at some point.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Definitely not three game ban Rich as it was a second yellow not a straight red – unlike the Blackpool player.

    I have tracked down the answer to my question though;

    “The FA tweaked the regulations so yellow cards won’t transfer across competitions and are instead specific to each tournament. So if Guendouzi was shown just a yellow card in the Carabao Cup last night, that would not have been added to his tally in the Premier League.

    However, the FA confirmed that red cards remain unaffected by the rule change, meaning Guendouzi will be suspended against Liverpool as he needs to serve a one-game ban.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. On Matteo, can anyone remember other 19 year old mids who run games in that way?

    Much of it might be position on pitch and instructions to him and others, but it’s still a pretty amazing sight. So much was going through him first half and clearly seemed to have the main responsibility for trying to move them about and find a way through.

    How good can he be?

    Bit of a shame by way that Pleg apparently out of contract this summer. Has talent, sometimes a real thrill watching him anticipate and cover ground, but really not sure we can provide the opportunities to persuade him to sign a new deal between now and end of year. 21 now and can’t be blamed for wanting to give himself best chance of plenty of senior football.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Didn’t get to watch the game. Tight win it seems but job done. Back to winning.

    Bit disappointed with how the Ramsey situation is being handled though.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Good Game last night.
    the B team yoofs showed up and did a good job.
    Tempted to keep Miki for the B team though. Expect better from him.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. So here we are on a long unbeaten run having picked up 22 points in the Premier League after a slow start in August. We are coasting through the European group stages and have moved effortlessly (despite a bit of a scare from lower league opposition) to the Quarter Finals of the League Cup, having fielded sides full of young and upcoming talent. We are singing the praises of a mobile (but physically on the frail side) young midfielder who will surely be the next Iniesta, but note with slight concern that an injury crisis involving only those in a specific but specialist position is starting to not only cause problems in that position but also threatens the stability of hitherto clockwork-like combinations in other areas as different solutions are ingeniously sought. We are also aware that the next round of games seem slightly harder and come thicker and faster than those enjoyed in the balmier days of Autumn – and sense too that decisions from the men in the middle are starting to go ever so slightly against us.
    Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose….
    It is indeed nice to have our Arsenal back, but who would have thought that changing a manager would make so little difference.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. claims that Koscielny is not part of Emery’s plans and that he will sign for Aston Villa



  9. so its now official that Gazidis has left Arsenal, his resignation took effect today.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Julio Pleguezuelo: ‘I was meant to play yesterday for the under-21s, but I got a phone call that the first team needed me for training and I found out in training that I was starting. Everything happened so quickly and I’m so happy. I want to play for Arsenal. That’s my dream.’

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I’m not sure that it was actually Guendouzi who was controlling the game. I was watching Aaron Ramsey, he played quite deep and was the one dictating things. He often picked out Guendouzi and mostly passed to him after picking the ball up from the defenders. I thought Aaron had an excellent, although unsung performance keeping and recycling the ball. He worked well with his midfield partner and it was actually his solid performance that allowed the youngster to shine. I still can’t believe the club is willing to let him go for nothing!

    Liked by 6 people

  12. Passenal finally addresses the elephant in the room.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Agree Passenal, indeed, if I may paraphrase thus, AR’s entire AFC career might be summed up as:

    “Aaron had an excellent, although largely unsung [career], keeping and recycling the ball, … it was actually his solid performances that allowed [others] to shine”.

    I hope this doesn’t come to pass, Pass, but if he does depart we may well spend some seasons mourning him, as we did the untimely and equally ‘unexpected’ exits of previous similarly unsung giants such as Gilberto and Edu.

    My guess is the new AFC regime is geared up, and dedicated to, achieving the highest possible value from the wages paid and in fairness this is the only way we will compete with the sovereign wealth funds on a long-term basis. Our required large squads will feature many of the lesser-known but no less talented talents, punctuated with periodic big name buys, and we’ll be firmly back in the old “we don’t buy stars, we make them” era – which I for one THOROUGHLY enjoyed.

    Sadly, they’ll be no room for elephants in the room and my best wish for Aaron is for his prodigious talents earning him prodigious wages at one of the biggest and free-est spenders at a club far from the PL (for our own sakes).

    The de-Wengerisation of the club edges onwards, just as the game and the myriad circumstances it finds itself played in, always does. Happily, the Ramseys of the future are already on the horizon, and it is this, in the youthful shapes of Torreira and others, that continues to resupply my great hopes at this extraordinary club of ours.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Man who left one of our former youth players, Sam Kanu, in a wheelchair needing 24 hour care, and then, after being released after less than half of his three year sentence, went on to be involved in murder an innocent stranger in a case of mistaken identity, killed soon after his release from prison.


    Liked by 1 person

  15. Maybe some Karma there Rich, people like that eventually piss off the wrong person.
    What I don’t understand is how violent people like that keep getting let out to commit crime after crime . He killed one stranger, put another in a wheelchair, why was he on the streets?

    Liked by 2 people

  16. That’s a pretty tepid description of Aaron’s Arsenal career and influence. I hope we can do better when the time comes, and haven’t already completely rewritten history by then.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Coo – you can’t do right for doing wrong.

    I have absolute confidence that Aaron will receive the same support and recognition of his excellent qualities as he has always done fro the PA community. And when he leaves, as appears certain, his contribution over the many years at the club will be marked by us in the proper way.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. I am sure he will, Andrew.

    Liked by 3 people

  19. I did not mean to imply that AA was not sincere in his praise. I apologize if it sounded that way.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. The whole Aaron Ramsey business is most perplexing, all the more so as every time I think I understand what is going on something else happens. The bits I don’t get are the things that come out from the club. Why for instance make such a fuss about him being one of the captains and celebrating his birthday and generally lauding him up on the official website if you then make a very public announcement that you won’t be renewing his contract at the end of the season. Even if you don’t intend to I don’t get what is gained from letting the world know that.
    I also don’t understand why such a gifted and mobile player with a history of important contributions hasn’t seemingly been given the chance to impress the new manager – and instead is treated with cold-shouldered disdain. Are Iwobi, Aubameyang, Mkhitaryan and Guendozi all so much better than him in the eyes of Emery?
    Or is he being made an example of safe in the knowledge that he is not an absolute fan favourite (where, for example, is his song?) due to a misguided perecption that local boy Jack was frozen out by AW’s favouritism with regard to him?
    When I first found and then followed this blog I did so because I saw a Twitter exchange prompted by George who posed the question as to whether it would be right to continue to support a club if you felt they had sold out with regard to core values. I went to see AW’s penulitmate game and felt sad, went and saw UE’s first home victory and wasn’t sure what I felt. I would love to be feeling a bit more positive right now, but it is hard if you feel that one of your favourite players is surplus to requirements.

    Liked by 5 people

  21. Matteo Guendouzi Suspended for Liverpool
    Nacho Monreal Minor right hamstring. Being assessed
    Sead Kolasinac Minor right hamstring. Being assessed
    Hector Bellerin Right thigh. Being assessed
    Sokratis Right ankle. Being assessed

    Liked by 1 person

  22. “Why for instance make such a fuss about him being one of the captains and celebrating his birthday and generally lauding him up on the official website..”

    Possibly, just possibly Tim, the club were trying to encourage AR to sign the contract they had been negotiating with him and his agent for several months and which, by all accounts, he was keen to sign at that point (but did not do so for reasons that are also frankly unfathomable). Possibly the football club even wanted him to stay and, as Emery said, take up a role as one of the captains of the mighty ship Arsenal over the 3-4 years of the proposed contract.

    Do you think that might explain making “such a fuss” of him ?

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Can it get any worse for Nick Bendtner? A player who should have at least challenged his own opinion of himself has stumbled from one disaster to another, and now this:https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/nov/02/nicklas-bendtner-prison-assault-taxi-driver-denmark?utm_term=RWRpdG9yaWFsX1RoZUZpdmVyLTE4MTEwMg%3D%3D&utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=TheFiver&CMP=fiver_email


  24. Yes Tim, much as I love the club, i could stop being anything like as supportive if we lost the perceived core values. Or was it Arsene’s core values that I so admired? I think I get confused.
    But if I didn’t like the players, playing style and staff, what exactly would I be supporting?

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Tim once again serving as my PA therapist by writing exactly what I have been trying mightily, and failing miserably, to voice. So accurate I almost cried, no kidding. Now, I’ll take my leave again, lest I turn this fine place into Negatively Arsenal.

    Liked by 4 people

  26. Oh, except to add that Aaron’s birthday isn’t until December, so I don’t think anyone has made a fuss about that.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. By the way, this blog was set up for all of us to positively support the team we all love. However, it’s gotten that Andy and Labo are shouldering everything. So please, if you have something to say, write it up and let us have it. Let’s get back to what we were.

    Liked by 3 people

  28. Any thoughts on the leaked proposed super league? Spuds werent on the list! Will be a big challenge to the CL..?

    Liked by 2 people

  29. One or two other interesting bits of info on twitter regarding super rich clubs etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Also ( nothing to d with footy all apologies) finally after 16,000 years Orson Welles’ The other side of the wind has been released on Netflix in case anyone’s into movies. I didnt think that would ever be released!
    But Id rather have the Welles version of the Ambersons though…

    Liked by 1 person

  31. If the money is there and committed to the project then the EuroLeague will arrive. An almost inevitable gravitational pull toward the cash. I’d guess the two leagues, domestic and Euro, would run in parallel for a few seasons before disengagement.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Theres a lot trending on twitter at the moment Anicoll- also thanks for the report forgot to add that.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Suggestions City and PSG didn’t/don’t play by FFP rules?

    That their ‘sponsorship’ deals are blatant self-sponsorship, involving ludicrously inflated prices with no relationship to a genuine market value?

    That the highest figures within sports administration, including the man brought in to ‘clean up’ FIFA, Infantino, and Platini, whose son, shit you not, is employed as a sports lawyer for PSG, acted improperly and perhaps fraudulently, in hiding the truth and allowing the oil boys to escape the punishment the rules demanded?


    Anyway, on with the football tomorrow. Newspaper interest is likely to be minimal, prospect of change less than that.

    Can imagine there will be some sound and fury about the proposed super league, and it will be interesting to see if we can be singled out as especially guilty for our involvement.

    Not sure i saw Spurs mentioned at all, and Liverpool may have been outside some list of guaranteed 11 or something, so they could go with that angle- why should we be there?! Lack of recent titles will get a mention. Lack of European cup more so.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. I haven’t seen the news about the proposed ‘super league’, but for anyone outside of PA who might be wondering why we would be in there, I will point them to the goals scored against Leicester – Arsenal are in there because of the entertaining brand of football we bring. The diving and cheating spuds rank pretty low on the ‘entertainment’ factor for the neutral!

    Re Aaron, I know that we don’t have the detailed knowledge, but it’s clear that something is amiss there. Could be that his agent overplayed his hand and the timing was all wrong with the departure of AW and Gazidis coinciding with this contract saga. Sanlehi had no prior knowledge or interest in Aaron in particular, so my money is on him being the driving force behind this change of direction. I’m coping with the new regime by focussing solely on what happens on the pitch. I no longer take an interest in what anyone involved with the club has to say outside of the games themselves. I think it’s all bullshit and I no longer have any confidence in what they say about anything. When AW spoke about values, I believed that he really meant and embodied them. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the decision taken re Aaron’s contract, the timing and the fact that the club have more or less publicly thrown him under the bus is humiliating for a loyal employee and embarrassing for an organisation that claims to have values. To me this feels out of step with the ‘family’ club that Arsenal has claimed to be. At least it has opened by eyes to the reality of the modern game and the fact that AFC are just like the other clubs. Players will still get 100% support from me while wearing the red and white, but outside of that my feelings towards the club as a body has definitely been tarnished.

    Liked by 2 people

  35. Laurent Koscielny: “The three goals against Leicester showed Arsenal’s DNA. We had that philosophy under Arsene Wenger & we still have it under Unai Emery. Playing forward with a lot of movement, quick transitions & sharp passing, this is us, this is Arsenal.”

    Liked by 1 person

  36. pass

    I don’t understand the stuff about throwing Ramsey under a bus.

    I figure there are two main scenarios : 1) there was a contract offer which was acceptable to player and he was prepared to sign at some point, and this offer was summarily withdrawn; 2) that first scenario- supported by Ornstein, Ramsey himself, and other journalists- itself is incomplete, and may omit crucial details.

    Neither constitutes throwing him under the bus to me, though of course the missing details could mean that he was, or something like it- i.e if he was promised by club he had time to accept an offer he intended to accept, and then suddenly the offer was taken away. That would be wrong from club, morally, and compounded if he was not promptly informed about what was going on.

    I still don’t see how we can make anything like a fully informed decision. We just don’t know. Maybe my feelings are significantly shaped by my opinion on both agents and journalists though. It’s that which makes me think scenario 2 is more likely and that there are important details we don’t know about

    I have massive distrust of our football journalists and like agents less than them. Even when they represent a player I like very much on the pitch and who conducts himself well and seems a good bloke off it.

    It’s flat out sad if there was a figure we were willing to pay and had offered, which Ramsey was willing to accept, and the unexplained delay in doing so has cost us the player and him his preferred choice to stay


  37. On a topical note : day we find out some details of PSG’s trashing of FFP and any principle behind it, with a 200 mill per year fiddle on self sponsorship, their 200 mill or whatever he was man, Neymar, just laid on an opening goal for their 180 mill man, Mbappe.

    Be ten or eleven wins or something to start the league season for them. Fair play, that’s not bad is it


  38. Rich, the reason I say the club has thrown him under the bus is that they appear to have briefed their pet journo, Ornstein who first broke the news. Sanlehi’s comments about no longer allowing players to enter the final year of their contract without a deal also supports the appearance that this is the club saying they are willing to let a valuable player (who the head coach said he wanted to build the team around) go to make a point that they will not be held to ransom. They decided to withdraw the offer after the transfer window closed so there was little time for him or the club to get a deal with another club. It feels like ‘cutting your nose off to spite your face’ and makes Arsenal look incompetent as now, the club and player are in a position where the bargaining power is all on the side of the prospective buyer. Personally, if I were the player, I would find it humiliating that a contract offer was withdrawn, despite the fact that I was willing to sign it. I have no proof, but my reading of the situation is that the agent delayed in the hopes of improving the deal but got his timing all wrong. The club has then chosen to make a stand with a player who has had his leg smashed and scored the winning goal in 2 of our 3 recent FA cup wins all in the service of the club over 10 years. This does not sit well with me, so he will be the only player in recent years other than Olivier Giroud, who I will wish well after he leaves AFC.

    Liked by 3 people

  39. Ruthless new regime at Emirates throws Ramsey under bus

    Greedy Ramsey and agent come unstuck in effort to chuck Arsenal under bus

    That’s the thing about buses – you wait at the stop for ages then two come along at the sane time

    Liked by 1 person

  40. I think a lot of Ramsey, he has been fantastic for us and will always wish him, if not his next team well.
    But with Andy and Rich on this one, there is stuff we don’t know and perhaps never will.
    Only a gut feeling but suspect a combination of a less than cooperative agent, a missed deadline, perhaps confidential inside info , and a different, yrs maybe more ruthless regime at the club saying enough is enough. Wonder if the likes of ox stringing the club along has burnt a few?
    That said,a real shame to lose such a servant to the club in such a way.
    Will have great memories of some of his time with us and hopefully Rambo gives us a few more.


  41. Regardless of how it all went down, Arsenal did not have to publicly state that Aaron was not going to be offered a contract after stating just 3 months ago that they wanted to build around him. Then not bother to meet with him and offer any kind of explanation. Then leak to the media that you’ve finally met with him, and told him he doesn’t “fit into your plans” now. That’s humiliating for the player and leaves him exposed to ridicule for the rest of the season, as he now tries to recover his reputation while looking for somewhere to be. Especially when he could have done that in the summer if he’d been told. There’s the big yellow (or red for you Londoners) bus.

    If your intention wasn’t to make him an example, you’d just say we failed to come to an agreement. Wouldn’t you? That’s what Arsenal have always done before.

    Liked by 3 people

  42. Indeed Kelly. This new regime is not what I love about the club. At least It appears that way .
    However, Arsene said last year that getting Aaron to commit was going to be difficult, so perhaps ?????.
    It reminds me of people telling me not to be so sad when my dog died. Saying I could get another one. Love doesn’t work like tat.

    Liked by 4 people

  43. Dammit. I told myself I wasn’t going to have this argument here. Sorry, all.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Kelly
    When you are in you are in
    And when you are out you are out
    But when you are only half way in
    You are neither in nor out.
    Be in.

    Liked by 2 people

  45. No need to apologise Alabama. I don’t see an arguement, just excellent supporters trying to decipher the puzzle of why this has occurred.

    I support the team and the players, I’ve treasured the values and off-field activities of the club. I’ve thrilled to the fancy shiny new signings and equally watched as they left, mostly sadly (spits in the direction of Van Persie). There’s been the other puzzles over selections and dropping of players and ultimatly I realise that I really know very, very little about my club. It’s a very one-sided relationship me and Arsenal.

    Support is a fascinating word. One bears the weight of something, it endures and tolerates, it is interested, it gives encouragement and approval, it describes providing a home but it’s pretty clear that it’s never going to be a joyous trajectory to sunny skies and the glorious stars. It’s possible to get there but I know that I’m getting kicked back down the path many, mant times along the journey.

    I’m gutted about Aaron so there’s another quick shoeing for me.

    Liked by 3 people

  46. Arsene fucked up with Andrey, and Sanchez. But it pails into insignificance with this Ramsey debacle.

    Liked by 1 person

  47. I’m not apologizing for my opinion or how I feel. But this is very personal for me, and I recognize that. More than once I’ve come close to saying something to someone that I’m afraid I won’t be able to take back. I don’t want to do that here.

    Liked by 3 people

  48. It’s uncertainty that has been doing things to my head watching games this season. I find myself distracted, talking to myself even while eyes are on the game.

    Although I am trying to focus solely on what’s on the pitch, the word ‘support’ still bothers me pretty much. The players whom I’ve known for at least two years are still here, I can’t quit or take a break now. At the same time, however, stuffs also happen, which confuses my way of supporting the club. It’s hard.

    Liked by 3 people

  49. Smallo

    Good post!

    Liked by 1 person

  50. New post up

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: