Arsenal: Rock, Paper, Scissors


Good Morning Positives,

We anticipated a keenly fought contest yesterday between two teams determined to secure a Champions League place, if not better, this season and the almost 100 minutes of action did not deviate from the script. Both sets of players left the field drained of energy and great credit to them all. Last game against Bournemouth  I noted we had 20 shots  and warned we would get far fewer chanced against the pride of Middlesex in the NLD. I see we had 22 shots yesterday. Experts eh – what ARE they like ?

Of the match itself we set about the visitors from the first whistle and battered their defence. Our best opening phase of the season  and, almost,  inevitably the Totties cracked with Verthongen flailing at the ball amid a jumble of heads. A tidy despatch by PEA and the mood in the crowd around me became more confident. We ‘should’ have added to the opener but a combination of indecisive finishing and desperate defence kept the score at 1-0. And ever so slowly the opposition got off the floor, get over the half way line and  put two passes together.

And then calamity, or double calamity as it turned out! A needless free kick given away by Sokratis, a ball whipped in by Eriksen, a glance of Dier’s turnip-shaped head and in off Leno. A real kick to the guts, though followed by some commendable scuffling as the Tottie player foolishly provoked the home crowd in the corner. Our concentration wavered, it was a setback.

As for the second string of misfortune within a minute a needless challenge from Holding on the dishonest Son, Deano points again to the spot and again the net bulges. Consternation, big, big consternation. At the game it looked a sure penalty, as it did to everyone around me. Son was already being shepherded away from the goal. There was no need to slide in. Watching it again last night I don’t know. According to the Sky Jamie ‘contactscope’ multiple slo-mo review showed a positive reading hence although Son clearly chucked himself to the ground a penalty was the correct decision. Bollocks. It was the wrong decision, although the result of calculated cheating on the Korean’s part. There will be no come-back on it for Son, and no doubt Pochettino will give him a pat on the back for his alleged cleverness, but he will find it harder to get away with next  season. Bastard. He and his Milton Keynes mate took abuse when they were subbed on 80 minutes, people up on their seats and over the back of the Spurs bench.

Our collective balloon was a bit deflated going into half time and a fan one up from me stormed out at HT, never to return. I was happy to get in at 1-2 to be honest. Going into half time a goal down though ? It is the Arsenal way.

I expected Emery to make changes at HT and Mkhi was top of everyone’s list. The Spaniard was more decisive than expected though with Alex Iwobi also benched. Rambo and Laca were however experienced, strong and more direct players and that is what we required. The opening five minutes of the second phase was a bit scrappy and a third for TH would have really floored us for good.  Again however we grappled our way back in, and began to control the ball. Hard work in midfield, decisive defending, and everyone playing as part of the team.

With PEA’s sublime finish for the second we never looked back. We seized the game by the throat, with Lucas dominant in midfield, Aubameyang tormenting Hoyth without mercy and Laca twisting the Spurs Belgian centre back inside and out. The killer tackle then through pass from Rambo to Laca sent us ahead again, courtesy of the finest but decisive touch off Dier to take the ball an inch past the diving Lloris (banned smiley).  Lucas topped the contest off on 77 minutes, excellent strike.


They were done for, the points were ours and North London is very, very Red.


No single MotM this week. A team award.

Enjoy Monday.
















About anicoll5

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

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75 comments on “Arsenal: Rock, Paper, Scissors

  1. Out of interest, is a deliberate handball in the area a red card?

    It looked pretty deliberate to me.


  2. Arsenal Academy
    ‏ @ArsenalAcademy
    5m5 minutes ago

    Burgess fires at goal and beats Iliev… but once again Ballard is there to clear the ball off the line.

    The 19-year-old is making this quite the habit 👏

    🔵 1-0 🔴 (39)


  3. Arsenal Academy
    ‏ @ArsenalAcademy
    1m1 minute ago

    Half-time: @officialpompey 1-0 #AFCU21

    Saka has troubled the Pompey defence, but Pitman’s early strike remains the difference at the break.

    Keep going, lads 💪


  4. This Ballard clearing off line thing getting weird. Must be seven or eight in last 3 months.

    Struggling to remember any for first team so far this season. Pace of game a lot different at lower levels play a part in it?


  5. Arsenal Academy
    ‏ @ArsenalAcademy
    2m2 minutes ago


    @BukayoSaka87 levels the score with a stunning strike from the edge of the box 🔥

    🔵 1-1 🔴 (66)


  6. Rich he is one of those type of defenders that goes to cover the line while others think mark an opponent first. For me its a real defenders instinct

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Arsenal Academy
    ‏ @ArsenalAcademy
    26s26 seconds ago

    Goal for @officialpompey. Green puts the hosts back in front.

    🔵 2-1 🔴 (83)


  8. Rich

    Yes coming on strong on any topic is not necessary.
    Which is why I never raised the topic of refs to discuss on the blog. But i don’t mind people ranting away on whatver they choose, like Eds on refs.

    I did find it odd to hear reasonable and rational critique of the structure of the pgMOB labelled as anti-English to be inaccurate. After all we live in an era where according to James Richardson and his Totally Football podcast crew on their show last week, and I can quote, “English Refeering is at it’s lowest ebb in decades”. I would hesist to smear that crew as anti-English. Seeing as they are: English?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. < hesitate to smear


  10. Goal from Saka a real beauty. Right footed! Still couple mins left but real shame if that’s it for us.

    Think chance to play against older players in competitive games very good for youngsters.


  11. Arsenal Academy
    ‏ @ArsenalAcademy
    5m5 minutes ago

    Full-time: Portsmouth 2-1 #AFCU21

    Despite an attacking performance and a stunning strike from @BukayoSaka87, #AFCU21 are out of the @CheckatradeTrpy 😫

    Unlucky boys 👏


  12. Hopefully we’ll see some players from the u21s like Saka in the last EL match.


  13. What concerns me is not the PGMO, it is how the new gaffer will juggle Özil’s injury record in 2018 with Ramsey’s contract situation.
    The quote from Unai was “Aubamayang & Ramsey”. If he can’t really opt for Ramsey then it’s a fair bet he’d like to have a fit Özil available. As Arsenal Column describes it was a “complete performance” from the striker, who has hit 20 goals quicker then Wright and Henry?

    Özil might well have been advised to rest up over the summer but like any footballer he would always take the option of playing in a WC.

    Miki showing some better form, with Lacazette just returning from injury he might be in the starting eleven against his old club.


  14. Man Utd currently 19pts behind their local rivals Man City, and not a single article about “mind the gap”, or “power shift”, but there is no anti Arsenal agenda.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. bad news – Koscielny went off injured tonight with about five minutes to go, seemed to be limping, hopefully not too serious


  16. Im being pretty thick here I know but I can’t work out the relevance of Rock, Paper, Scisssors as the title of this piece.


  17. Maybe Andy meant that whatever they did we had the option to beat it.?

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I didnt realise its been about twelve years or so since we won at Old Toilet. Time to give them a bit of a thrashing, and then to hear that Mou ‘s sacked afterwards!
    No Alexis tonight hes hamstrung over.


    Liked by 1 person

  19. ps( 12 yrs since we won in the PL)


  20. i would prefer to beat them obviously, but to have Jose to stay
    Utd, with their resources, and a decent manager, which I ultimately suspect may be Poch will be a lot more of a threat than they are now


  21. Good point Mandy, not sure if Poch could do the job up there either though? The job being SAF no2 which is what they want.
    Thing is either Mou’s going to get them going again or go sooner or later, and I would like AFC to be the end of him after all his bs towards AW and the bad taste still lingering from game 50.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Wasn’t it big Ade that last scored the winning goal up there I think although if it’s 12 years that doesn’t sound right TH was still there in 2006 anyway it’s been a while.
    I was there however when Nacho and Danny knocked them out the cup, what a night that was. My heart was still going as the coach was going down the motorway.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. It was the big Ade Ianspace2014. But the Nacho- Danny double must have been brilliant to have seen in person.


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