Arsenal: Will the torture never end?



Good morning Positive Arsenal fans,

We emerge from the Christmas pair of games a little behind where we were hoping to be in the PL with two points not picked up yesterday. The effect has been less damaging than could have been the case because of a couple of notable performances from Leicester, of all people.

For the opening 20 minutes we were very good.  We should have cut the poor home defence to shreds and been at least two goals ahead. Perhaps it was too easy ? After that patch of footballing poetry we lapsed. Brighton scrambled back into the game, got a grip on Auba and Laca, and we faced a struggle for the next 70 minutes where ten minutes before the opponent was on the canvas. And it was a struggle rather than a battle. Just three fouls all afternoon for us and just ten for Brighton. Clean game with just one dodgy tackle over the 90. Not what I expected.

Of yesterday’s game defence much better than the shambles at St Mary’s with Kosc getting back toward the player he was before the 2017/2018 season was ruined by injuries. 70  valuable minutes for the club captain yesterday. Sokratis is growing on me, a likeable rogue. Lichtsteiner I see is being slagged off universally by every Arsenal fan and his dog for what I still say was an unlucky clip off his head (next time hide Stephan). Sead did fine, though not as influential as against Burnley. AMN put in a few good minutes and I would not be too surprised to see him start at Anfield at right back.

Our midfield comes in for some fair criticism about lack of creative or attacking initiative. With our strikers labouring against a robust defence we need more attacking threat from our midfield, whether that is shooting from distance or dashes to the near post/far post/any bloody post and into the box. Enough of the “three DMs” bollocks though. I did not see any of Guendouzi, Torreira or Granit as a defensive DM yesterday. As for the blokes who are supposed to do “flair”, as it is in their contract, Ozil  started, did OK I thought but Emery did not. Iwobi entered, the usual half time shake-up, and achieved even less. The young Nigerian looks lost at the moment. Aye – I am afraid to say yesterday our creative spark was barely registering.

Our Uruguayan I thought was a little inhibited yesterday, in spite of the reported “told to play his normal game” advice. He is however a  lucky boy hat Mr Taylor did not see the slo-mo of his “coming” together on the edge of the Brighton box. A yellow card for that offence and missing Anfield would have been unacceptable.

Laca off on the hour and Ramsey on ? I would have taken Iwobi off – whatever confidence he had would have been further punctured but the French striker is able to pull out goal from the unexpected angle or the half inch gap.


Weighing it all up ? The point was a correct result. Room for improvement certainly but no disaster and an encouraging step forward from my MotM Laurent Koscielny.

So just two days off and on to the Home of the Champions elect. I hear the bookies on Merseyside have already paid out – as they do.

Enjoy Thursday.




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71 comments on “Arsenal: Will the torture never end?

  1. Or our German is injured eddy – Orny the oracle hath spoke

    I find there are no less than 13 members of the so called diving panel, 5 ex match officials and 8 ex players.

    What a crew!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ed

    That Sinclair quote!!!! Someone who appoints that guy to it either hasn’t interviewed him properly or doesn’t want to see players banned.

    Thinking about it, and less funnily, Sinclair’s reasoning is the exact same many give for why leg-breakers can’t be more than 3-match bans, unlike in other countries for the really bad ones, where they can got to ten games.

    Also why Sheff Utd captain Morgan wasn’t given a longer sanction for (very) deliberately elbowing Hume to the temple and fracturing his skull with a life-endangering injury. No way to prove intent. No way a player would mean to hurt someone like that. Etc.

    *I meant the dive panel for the all three must agree earlier btw, just didn’t word it well.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s possible Ozil has a bad knee, simple as that.

    But with way things have gone recently, surely also a very real possibility there’s more to it/ it’s something else.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Trust me Rich – no smoke (taps nose)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. reports now that Ozil is out of the squad due to a knee injury

    Liked by 1 person

  6. anicol the biggest problem the dive panel is that so very little is actually referred to them, and yes the panel is made up of ex players, ex managers, ex refs, there are even some women on the panel, and any 3 can be asked to judge any incident referred to them. But as I said, almost no incidents are or have been sent to them to judge. The whole dive panel thing is just another big white elephant pretending to be doing something without actually being allowed to do anything

    Liked by 1 person

  7. well anicol seeing as you mention Ornstein, he says Emery may be forcing Ozil out of Arsenal

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Quite right Ed – hence my curiousity on the members of the FA on field regulation team who, according to Halsey, chose not to refer Mo Salah.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. yes anicol, those that chose not to refer Mo Salah, are likely to be the disciplinary guys, who decide all that sort of stuff, you like charging Emery for kicking a water bottle, I can not find anywhere that actually lists who these guys are, they can hide behind being just a faceless FA Panel, or “the FA have decided”

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  10. Halsey is right Anicol, the dive panel have no say what so ever in who or what incidents are referred to them,

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Most odd – I’d be a hypocrite about the bottle though – I laughed when Jose was banned.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Too much bottle action over the years to keep track of.

    Thought Jose got away with chucking the crate the other week- he’s been banned previously for something similar has he?

    Few mentions of Jose in media this morning. Some compatriot of his trying to talk him up as perfect match for Madrid. Surely not.

    I’m struggling to think of anyone who could move for him who would have enough money for him to risk it.

    Inter only serious contender i can think of. Though maybe Moshiri could be desperate enough to give him a crack at Everton if current guy doesn’t pan out.

    Seriously hope we don’t have to see him again here, but it’s not quite a done thing yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I have no problem with Emery being charged for the bottle kick, but its very likely he will get a fine or even just a warning, its his first charge, FA don’t usually ban for this when its a first time offense. I just find it disgraceful that the same guys who hand out a disrepute charge for kicking a bottle find that a diving incident can’t even be referred to the dive panel. the priorities are somewhat skewed

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  14. on the bottle kicking thing, the only explanation I can think of for having water bottles spread about near the dugout is for advertising purposes, as there is no good reason why members of the coaching staff or extended match day off field guys, would not be taking care of handing out to the players any bottles needed for their few sips, and then putting them away again. What is it the call it in the movies or soap operas, product placement

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I guess José’s most likely next gig is in Italy where he quit Inter on reasonable terms as CL champions and there are a number of owners who’d try almost anything to crack Juve’s total season after season domination.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I wonder will Jose end up as AC Milan manager

    Liked by 1 person

  17. David Ornstein
    ‏Verified account @bbcsport_david
    1h1 hour ago

    Ozil’s knee injury was sustained at Brighton on Boxing Day and despite the best efforts from all for him to be fit to face Liverpool tomorrow, the problem persisted – he was not ready play or be in the squad #AFC

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Could easily be a load of crap, but on other hand would fit with recent trend.


    Strange and unwelcome development that Liverpool suddenly seem to have significantly more spending power than us. City, Utd, Chelsea was enough.

    They don’t have new owners, though they have had some serious cash from sales, and have had CL for couple of years while we haven’t…but still…

    I don’t recall us ever having more to spend than them when we were always in CL and they often missed out, but guess that goes back to stadium payments, luck, timing, etc

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Come on then, who’s feeling optimistic/ positive?!!

    I haven’t been for a good few years visiting Anfield, not since that painful 5-1 blitzkrieg.

    Guess the hope is that them committing more to attack than we’ve been facing recently could leave us with more space to work in at other end…and that we have produced maybe our best this year in the home games against them and Spurs, had a good spell in the Chelsea away game, and edged Utd at Old Trafford.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Always a chance we may up our game against such opposition Rich.
    But our defence will have to improve immeasurably, which is hard to see with the absentees, we will also have to up the creativity, and to me at least, that means starting Rambo, but whether that happens is another matter.
    The law of Salah teaches us that it is permissible to dive without fear of a retrospective red card if there is contact, any contact, on any part of the body, however minimal and that the media must gloss over such things with certain players that are favoured by Danny Murphys law. The Mustaphi paradigm also informs us you can still get a yellow for simulation if subject to significant contact,or something. We need to pay attention to these edicts. This outfit must be in the top two or three divers in the league, and has been for some time with the legacy of Owen and Gerrard, and they will get away with a lot up there so last ditch tackles, however legal must be avoided, difficult with pacy forwards and rusty defenders
    In short, not especially confident, a decent opponent, an opponent who every star in the galaxy seems to align for, and with our injuries , and perhaps one or two self inflicted absences, but you just never know, it might just be one of those happy unlikelyhoods that sometimes happen.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. New post is up and running towards the new year.

    Liked by 1 person

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