141 Comments

Arsenal: A long week over and the race run …..

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Good morning Positive people,

I am the wrong man to provide any form of detailed match review today. “Not much difference this week then” I hear some of you say, but this week   I did not seen the game live or on stream, but listed to it on the radio and followed it on Twitter. God it was hard work. I did later supplement the audio experience with the highlights on Sky and on MotD so I saw most of the good bits. And of the bad bits ? Well I heard the howls of rage and frustration via the radio. As for the main target of the ire, in the ground and on the internet,  referee Tierney can never, ever have been described so frequently by the same digital descriptors in so short a period in his life.

Of my impressions of the match itself ? We came into the game physically tired and it showed.Part of that fatigue was down  to injuries and that we had no Ramsey and Ozil and the same layers had to turn out again for another hard working performance against game opponents.  I can see, I think, why UE started with Laca and PEA up front. His  aim was  breaking the Terriers open early and being a goal or two ahead after which, after half time, we could control the game and ease off. We had a comfortable win against them last year and they have let in a lot of goals away from home. I could see his logic. Unfortunately when that opener did not come there was no opportunity to lower the team’s gear and I thought we were forced to work as hard against the Yorkshiremen as we had in either of our previous two contests against loftier opponents.

Despite that frustration however we did keep our concentration. Our energy did not wane.  With 80%+ possession we pressed until, finally, the visitors cracked and our Uruguayan dynamo flew through the air. It was a very good goal, the ball from Matteo, the take down and control of Auba and, most spectacular of all, the scissors kick from Lucas.

The second positive in the game, which proved as decisive as Torreira’s winner, was the success the defence had in stopping Huddersfield scoring. It was as long ago as September since we had last had a “0” in the Premier League.

Man of the Match award for the game though ? For his constant energy yesterday and on Wednesday step forward and hold out your hand Matteo Guendouzi.

Of our opponents read and heard a lot of abuse about their approach to the game but what I saw they defended well, albeit stretching the rules to the limit.  12 months of PL football has made Wagner less starry-eyed I suspect. They will be disappointed that they did not have another 12 minutes in them to cling on. As last year though I fancy they will survive.

So a decent interval until Southampton and every prospect of taking advantage of the chaos at St Mary’s, a tricky ground  in recent years. In the interim Qarabag, and you will be pleased to hear I am in the Clock End for that one. I shall spare no gory detail.

Enjoy sunday.

141 comments on “Arsenal: A long week over and the race run …..

  1. typical of your misrepresentation of what I said Anicol, I said it will make no difference to AFC, it will make some difference to the game overall, so for that alone its a good thing. But nice try.

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  2. Sorry – I forgot you regard Arsenal football club as defenceless victims of Mike Riley and other parties who are many in number, determined in their enmity but whose names remain obscure or unknown.

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  3. Europa palate cleanser needed. Will get tiresome real quick if I keep habit of registering and grizzling about every time a player goes down easily and refs oblige.

    Twice now for Watford’s Success in this one. Ooh nice one from Richarlison- always at it- too

    Liked by 1 person

  4. And if Eddie N does not start I shall storm out of the stadium. I’m hoping for a open game, a few goals as I’m taking a couple of the kids and one of their pals who has never been to a football match before. Entertainment, entertainment, entertainment.

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  5. Looking forward to Eddie at home on good pitch a lot.

    Feel like haven’t seen Ainsley or Emile in recent training picks, so hopefully no knocks- would be especially annoying in AMN case as he needs minutes.

    Willock hopefully another run.

    If we’ve actually secured top spot already, can’t see much justification for using any of those we are relying upon for Christmas period. Though might be chance to get Iwobi back fully in the groove.

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  6. I think it will be very much second string and returning players but that still leaves scope for Kosc, Cech and Monreal, a proper game for Mo. What chance and Mkhi would want a game against the team he was denied the chance to play against ?

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  7. Perhaps Gallagher was explaining why it was mistakenly ruled out? In other words, explaining how the mistake could have been made. Because it was a mistake to rule it out. Not sure it was evil intentions from the officials.

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  8. Interesting discussion again regarding the refereeing of the so called best football league in the world…I suspect that supporters of other teams also think their club is screwed by the refs, bray as they may, I haven’t seen 1 team lose so many players seriously injured for tackles as we have, is it coincidence? How many other teams had a player pushed into a camera pit or taken out while being out of bounds?

    I have only been supporting the mighty Gunners since 2001, must be a rookie for some but from game 50 onwards, after how many games have we griped about the one sided calls? 10 a year, 15, 20?

    I have been following the Montreal Canadiens for 50 years, in all that time ( @82 games a year that I watch ) I can recall 1 game that a referee drastically missed a call and that was in 1987, thankfully it favoured my Habs! Refereeing is virtually never brought up after a game and the refs are for the most part anonymous. While I don’t follow other sports in North America as closely I believe it is the same as with hockey, that is not an issue for the most part.

    I would like nothing more than to not notice the refs during all BPL matches, that they show consistancy. Unfortunately right now that is far from the case, to top it pigmol tells us not to believe what we see their refs do every week, but to believe them and that they are close to calling perfect games…reminds me of what the orange buffoon south of US spews….

    Just my 2 cents worth…

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  9. Nope, Gallagher rated it as ‘correct decision’.

    He does a page most weeks for Sky website (might be in Sun,too) reviewing selected big decisions- rating them correct or incorrect.

    Still pretty sure he’s a pgmol employee (something in Webb’s book about them working together reviewing games when Webb retired and took up new role with Pgmol).

    Always found it shifty that he’s not billed as such.

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  10. Interesting discussion about BPL refereeing once again. It is hard to view the BPL as the best league when fans of all teams think the refereeing in the league is so poor. I’ ve been supporting the Montreal Canadians for 50 years and can recall 1 game where the refereeing team missed a blatant call on a goal, that was in 1987 and fortunately for me, my team benefitted! Obviously different sports, different context but after an ice hockey match refereeing is not discussed. It just isn’t necessary.

    Seems like since game 50 refereeing has been so much part of our discourse, all too often. It is no wonder, what other team suffered such severe player injuries as a result of a bad tackle, player pushed into a camera pit, another taken out while off the field and so much more.

    I do hope VAR opens up the discussion and leads to cleaning up that aspect of the BPL. My hope is that pigmol becomes more accountable to all teams and players, it shouldn’t be too much to ask for! Right now with their so called 98% correct call rate ( sky sports , referee myth busting 16/03/18) and seemingly no accountability it is difficult to take this league seriously…

    Right now Riley is asking us to believe what he says and not what we see…kind of like the orange buffoon….come on BPL wake up!

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  11. Fun fact-ish : think we paid less for Guendouzi (7) and Torreira (25?) than Chelsea paid for Drinkwater (35?).

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I think VAR will improve decision making and ensure most if not all marginal calls are correct Red. What it won’t do unfortunately is stop players cheating and chucking themselves on the deck with the slightest ‘contact’. Only the clubs and the players themselves can do that. Fans may be able to help though.

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  13. Can only agree on the cheating side of things, far too much of it going on.
    Trouble is, diving is too well rewarded – look at our neighbours for starters, especially when they play us with a ref who has a reputation for giving penalties.
    I don’t know enough about the processes and legal implications, but wish there was a lot more retrospective action, might not help the game where it happened, but, say Harry Kane or Rahim Sterling knowing the would get a 3+ game ban might make them think a little.
    I know things are complicated by players, especially the above mentioned leaving their leg trailing to ensure contact, but slow motion replays should show unnatural movement.
    Believe retrospective action is possible now, but for whatever reason, they very rarely use it.
    But yes, wish they would do something about it. But sadly, I just see more teams, including ultimately, our boys just embracing something that is so well rewarded.
    Who was it that said cheats never prosper? Because they were wrong.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. One heavy duty punishment I saw recommended yesterday is a straight red card is judged to have dived in the penalty box. Trying to deceive a referee into awarding a penalty and potentially red card, or at least yellow card, an opposition player is a serious breaking of the rules that the current yellow card does not really address.

    As it is a red card offence then it would be VAR checked.

    No banter, you are off. Perhaps even slippery Son might be more inclined to remain at the vertical.

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  15. That sounds a really good idea, especially when used with VAR.
    As for Son, and one or two of his team mates, I suspect they will need months , perhaps years of de-programming, NLP, hypnotherapy, perhaps sessions with Tom Daley to meet their compulsion but in an appropriate environment , and a lot more to help overcome their malaise.
    Son, Kane, Dele, Lamella and co may even require a new manager, one not carrying the emotional baggage of World Cup match deciding encounter with serial diver but media saint, Michael Owen ,way back in 2002.

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  16. I have to admit I upset to see our lads going down at the slightest touched. I REALLY hope we don’t see ourselves joining into the skulduggery.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. PG @11.25 am, here here! Perhaps that is part of the values our outgoing manager spoke about? Could be a sign that diving is less frowned upon under the new regime? They may have come to the conclusion that since plenty get away with it week in week out they should join the party. Hopefully they’ve taken on board the harsh lesson from Saturday that there’s one rule for AFC and another for the rest so you might as well stay on your feet.

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  18. I don’t think VAR will make any real difference to the sort of penalties that the skillful are awarded. If there is the slightest contact ‘proved’ then surely it would be almost impossible to conclude it didn’t cause the fall. In fact it may well make it all the more likely that contact will be initiated. I can see how it will clear up most offsides when it suits the official to do so, although interpretation will allow for a lot of let-out clauses, as the egregious Mr Hackett has just been so kind to demonstrate.
    And I am afraid I do not share Geroge’s admirable honesty, growing up as I did when the debate in cricket was all about walkers and non-walkers. My philosophy is that if one side are seeking an advantage by cheating, then both sides should, otherwise cheats do indeed beat.

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  19. I think I value honesty above points Tim. And I know I’m on a small island with the water rising, but what can I do?

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  20. I’d never want to win through cheating however ask most fans if they would take a loss at home to Portsmouth during the invincible year and most might disagree. Pires left a trailing leg and the rest is history.
    As far as refs go they have been proved to be taking bungs all round the world I would be highly surprised if England was any different especially considering the money involved.

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  21. I think we are far better behaved than most. Two cringeworthy moments stand out though. First Eboue’s blatant dive in the Champions League final on the edge of he FCB box. From the free kick Sol scored. God we would have had some stick about that. The other infamous incident was Francis Jeffers diving against Farnborough in the FA Cup at Highbury – Farnborough ffs.

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  22. All I have read about Emery suggests he is a decent manager, and man.
    But, a new man following a legend, under serious pressure, perhaps with a point to prove after PSG, it may be expecting a lot for him to follow Wengers incredibly principled stand on such things, and I am sure fair play on the pitch was a major part of The Mans values system.
    Wenger directly stated, and sometimes implied enough to suggest he felt he wasnt always getting the rub of the green, yes it may or may not have been heat of the moment stuff, but wengers words were generally pretty wise and considered. If Wenger felt that, I am sure the players did too, and Emery would have picked up on this.
    Emery himself is no stranger to the more controversial aspects of the game, as PSG were pegged back by Barca in a travesty of a game, as Wenger himself found out, Barca do tend to get help when needed.
    But, individual incidents aside, I am pretty sure various forms cynicism would be ramped up to greater or lesser degrees with whoever replaced Wenger.
    Not saying that Emery is an out and out cheat btw, far from it, I doubt his players are drilled and diving to instruction like they do in the depths of Middlesex, just saying that Wenger may be pretty unique in the modern game.
    But still think some of this could be avoided of refs started dishing out earlier cards for rotational fouling, even for the most honest of players, must be tempting to ham things up just a little if a ref is conspicuously failing to do his job on this front, as we saw on Sat.

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  23. Hopefully won’t come to pass but feel like we could now have to be extremely careful about not falling unnaturally after contact- i.e like Mustafi- while the rest of the league just carries on as usual.

    We’ll be watched closely for a while, a narrative is there, and opposition players are quite likely to try exploit it

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Plumped for Liverpool game. Will have more atmosphere and be bit more delicious maybe should right result materialise.

    Also chance to watch their player Allan in midfield. Brilliant last time I watched them and reminded me of Torreira.

    Ey up- Spurs behind.

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  25. Mcmanaman’s a fucking useless bastard. Umpteen times now he’s claimed there’s nothing in challenges, etc, and then replays show otherwise.

    Should learn if he’s not very good at spotting things first time just to shut his mouth and wait for the replays.

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  26. Think European VAR may well have given Van Dijk a red for it. Very nasty follow through

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  27. Cor it’s tight at the Camp Nou – Barca reserves clinging on at the moment – Messi on though

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  28. Inter Milan ? Ridiculous

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  29. I would have been pleased to see Tottingham in the Europa – the bastards

    Taking a step back though it is looking a fair bet that we will go far in the EL and CFC look set for doing very well.

    And whoever wins the Europa, if they don’t already have a place via their League qualification, gets in the Champions League

    Makes you think ?

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  30. Top Five may yet be a trophy

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  31. Sniper@clockendsniper
    The four champions league group 3rd place teams that will join the 11 Europa league runners up that we could face in the last 32 are:

    Galatasary
    Benfica
    Shakhtar Donetsk
    CSKA Moscow

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  32. anicol

    I know Europa winners get CL place automatically, even if outside top 4, like Utddid, but would that mean if Europa winner is within top 4, 5th placed team gets in?

    I’ve no idea on that one.

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  33. Again tho-Inter! Bah.

    Curious team. Number of top players- Skriniar, Perisic, Brozovic, Miranda, Croatian rb, Icardi- and plenty of good ones, but often seem lacklustre and way less than sum of those parts

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  34. I think it does mean five CL places for any of the big countries if one of their top 4 wins the Europa Rich although UEFA keep changing the rules.

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  35. I don’t think that’s right, you have to win it to be in it and not by other of your fellow teams from the same league.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. You are right Ian.
    https://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/news/newsid=2444525.html
    What is the deal this season?

    France will end up with three UEFA Champions League places. When Atlético won the UEFA Europa League final, because they have already secured UEFA Champions League football for next season via a top-four Liga finish, the vacancy for the UEFA Europa League holders will be filled by the third-placed club from the association ranked fifth. And that association is … France.

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  37. Ahead of Thursday night’s Europa League clash against Qarabag, here’s the latest team news update from our medical team:

    Aaron Ramsey
    Fit and has returned to full training following ankle injury.

    Mesut Ozil
    Fit and has returned to full training following back injury.

    Rob Holding
    Left knee – anterior cruciate ligament injury. Surgical repair will take place later this week.

    Shkodran Mustafi
    Hamstring. Being assessed ahead of Qarabag (h) on Thursday, December 13.

    Dinos Mavropanos
    Groin injury. Expected to return to full training in December.

    Danny Welbeck
    Right ankle. Recovering after surgery.

    Login or register to play video
    06:05

    Ozil – Why Arsenal means so much to me

    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.

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  38. Saka and John-Jules amongst Arsenal youngsters to train with first-team ahead of Qarabag clash

    by jeorge bird

    Arsenal held their final training session ahead of tomorrow night’s Europa League game against Qarabag, and, as expected, a host of youngsters were in attendance.

    Amongst them were Bukayo Saka and Tyreece John-Jules and if the young attackers make the matchday squad against Qarabag it seems likely that they won’t be involved in tonight’s FA Youth Cup clash against Northampton Town.

    Eddie Nketiah also trained with the first-team, as did Zech Medley, Charlie Gilmour and Dominic Thompson.

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  39. Emery says that Koscielny will start tomorrow, as will several of the U23’s

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  40. Tony Adams to become head of rugby football league.

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  41. Arsenal Academy
    ‏ @ArsenalAcademy
    53m53 minutes ago

    We’re in #FAYouthCup action against Northampton tonight – and here’s how we line up…

    Starting XI: Hein, Daley-Campbell, McGuinness, Spencer-Adams, Swanson, Smith, Olayinka, Coyle, Greenwood, Cottrell, Balogun

    Bench: Okonkwo, Lopez, Musah, Azeez, Ogungbo

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  42. GOOOAALLL! 🙌

    Balogun intercepts and races through on goal before driving a low ball back across goal and into the net

    🔴 1-0 👞 (35)

    Like

  43. Arsenal Academy
    ‏ @ArsenalAcademy
    5m5 minutes ago

    GOOOAALLL! 🙌

    Balogun intercepts and races through on goal before driving a low ball back across goal and into the net

    🔴 1-0 👞 (35)

    Like

  44. GOOOAALLL! 🙌

    Balogun intercepts and races through on goal before driving a low ball back across goal and into the net

    🔴 1-0 👞 (35)0 replies 8 retweets 1 like

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  45. Arsenal Academy
    ‏ @ArsenalAcademy
    44s45 seconds ago

    HT: Arsenal 1-0 Northampton

    Balogun’s strike shortly before the interval makes all the difference at the break

    🏆 #FAYouthCup

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  46. Saka not being in the youth squad tonight suggests he might get some game time in EL tomorrow night, he trained with the first team today.

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  47. Arsenal Academy
    ‏ @ArsenalAcademy
    25m25 minutes ago

    GOAL!

    Swanson doubles our advantage with a cross-cum-shot from distance which shot over the top of the goalkeeper’s head

    🔴 2-0 👞 (75)

    Like

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