Good morning Positives,
A cold night at a half empty Emirates provided an opportunity for me to get seats for the family and friends so a good time was had, more memorable for my chance to play the informative old fart for those attending a live football match for the first time.
Of the game itself Arsenal never moved above second gear, and never needed to. Qarabag were competent at the back but in attack they were totally bereft of any threat all evening. Emi Martinez did not have one genuine save to make all evening, and I can only recall hm dropping to his knees to collect the ball on one occasion. The result was never in doubt but Laca’s goal was a good one, and as we were sitting four rows back in the Clock End had the chance for the close-up.
The evening was one for UE to check on the fitness and potential availability of returning players, and Mesut, Kosc and Nacho ticked that box for him. Our club captain was a bit leggy strolled about most of the evening with no obvious difficulty but Stu Macfarlane caught the Frenchman’s relief/pleasure at getting back to first team action beautifully below;
Of our young lads Bukayo Saka was lively with his couple of strikes in goal. But for Vagner’s face the winger would have been celebrating a goal on his debut as the youngest ever AFC Euro scorer. He is however raw as a plate of freshly prepare sushi so a lot more U21and U23 experience required.
Joe Willock and Eddie did OK but I expected a little more from the latter, especially after Lacazette went off. Unfair perhaps but it was a chance for Nketiah to make his case for more first team action and he did not convince. And Zech Medley – how big is he ffs !?
A long way to come, for those Azeris who travelled, for so little. At least the Armenian pitch invader gave them something to cheer about before the final whistle.
In line with the not getting out of second gear I shall leave you there and launch into Friday. Onward to the Saints.
First Arsenal game I can remember nodding off during it.
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Many thanks anicoll5, hope you had a good time. Seems strange to see the ground so empty. Now we go deep into the weird world of Christmas football!
May the force be with you,
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You should have watched it in the garden in a t shirt – it was too bloody cold to nod off last night.
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I haven’t see the crowd figure last night but my guess would be, at best, 25k.
Often when I was a regular back in the 83-85 period it was like that (as Im sure you recall too).
Didn’t legend have it we had snow in August in 76. When I was a kid we used to stand on the corner bit of the North bank nearest the West stand the bit that looked like scalectric high speed banking, when the wind blew through there it would chill you to your bones.
I’ve to Newcastle a couple of times during the winter when we were covered to the nines hats scarves the lot but there was Geordies walking around in best and pants.
The other really cold game I remember was the only game we lost in 91 at Chelsea before they become chelski with shed an all. The bridge was a really shit ground then and you could the snow blow all the way through the ground right into your face. Steve Bould was so cold he purposely got injured so he could get warm and Adams was warmly locked up in his cell we ended up with David Hiller at CB what a nightmare.
I enjoyed the game last night although it was a little frustrating. I felt Mezut and Lava looked for each other to much instead of playing their normal game and trusting the youngsters. Joe Willock normally likes to take control and not give loads of two yard passes to more senior players.
We were unlucky to only win 1-0 but the youngsters all played well and got more game time and experience under their belt which could be priceless to both them and the team later on in the season.
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I remember going to Sunlun once in the Roker Park days. Early 1980s. Winter, it was very very Winter.
We arrived late as a result of terrible driving conditions, were shepherded in by a surly constabulary, and into the open to the skies Roker End. It rained heavily and solidly for 90 minutes, horrible icy rain, straight from Siberia.
And we lost 2-0.
Never again I said, never again.
And I meant it.
Just realised Liverpool Utd this weekend. Don’t bet, but if I did I’d put few quid on a Utd sending off.
Not quite a Wanyama situation- twice in a row in his Saints days he didn’t adjust after playing us, and got sent off next game- but they will be reffed normally and so won’t be allowed to use aggression and fouls as much as they did against us.
Nice precise write up Andrew, can’t be accused of being nebulous*.
Have to confess I caught a decent stream but also fell asleep for the night at half-time, along with the best of them.**
Great to see the unbeaten run extended and hope we can get past Southampton on Sunday to continue our best way of irritating our rivals (or at least their fans). Hoping for Manure to pull off the miracle result of the winter over in Liverpool. Not that confident, admittedly.
* Word of the Day
Chris Kavanagh will be the ref when Arsenal play Southampton on Sunday.
Man City 2-0 up v Everton, if they win they will be 18pts clear of Man Utd, but we will not hear anything about power shift in Manchester, or Mind the Gap, and oddly enough – or is it seeing as Media have nothing to say on it – the utd fans will not be protesting, or boycotting games, or waving banners, or demanding their manager be sacked.
Regardless of what many would like us to believe, the media set the agenda, set the tone, and the sheep in the fan base follow, no different than how they set the tone towards Sterling and other black players, and do so without fear of being called out on it.
The media might have got a few headlines about a ‘power shift’ in Manchester in the season after Ferguson retired in Summer 2013 eddy but since then there has been only one dominant club in the city. I doubt even the most one eyed Red Manc would argue with that as they have trailed in behind their blue neighbours year after year. And it is not likely to change any time soon.
I cant believe the bloomin’ Spuds pulled that one off. Bah! Grrr!
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that spurs late winner was a real downer. It puts added pressure on AFC to win tomorrow. City won, spurs won, we know that at least one of LFC and MU will drop points tomorrow, so we need a win to keep pace with city and spurs, and to gain pts on at least one top 4 rival.
We go into the game with Mustafi, Sokratis and Holding unavailable, also Mavropanos too. So our CB options are down to the bare bones, Koscielny the only natural experienced CB available, and he hasn’t even 90 minutes of first team football under his belt this season, I can’t see us starting the youthful Medley for his first BPL action, so that means if we are to play 3 CB’s as we have done recently our other options are Lichtsteiner, Monreal, Eleney, Xhaka and possibly Kolasinac, so that is 3 fullbacks, and 2 midfielders. Not ideal, at the best of times, but adding in our awful record recently away to Southampton, who seem to really raise their game for us, and who seem to get the rub of the green from officials in those games, we really need a big performance from all our side tomorrow, our midfield and attack really need to spark and take the pressure off our back line.
There are reports that Arsenal’s preseason next summer will be a 5 game tour of the USA, with our Women’s team having games in the USA too. Also no Emirates Cup again either, as the USA tour would not see enough time for it. Probably just the Boreham wood game for us in the UK.
Some of the games in the USA would be part of the International Champions Cup and some of the Women’s games would be in their version of it too.
talking of big pressure to win, surely the team under the most pressure to win tomorrow is Man Utd, well it will be if AFC and CFC win their early kickoff games, as it would put utd 11pts off 5th spot, and they are currently 18pts off Man City in top, and if they lose to LFC they would be 19pts off them, while they are only 5pts ahead of Brighton who sit in 13th place
Other teams results are a distraction, during this period of multiplex games it really is literally concentrate on our games one game at a time.
Sad to see Wilshere out again with another ankle problem, his ‘good’ one (not one he had op on this year).
Felt pain in it, no timeframe for return. This latest comeback was literally 5 minutes as sub at start of this month.
Must be very hard to take for him.
New post up