Arsenal: Hide not your deeds nor your omission


Good morning Positive Arsenal friends,

A thorough hiding on Merseyside yesterday evening I feel most, if not all of you, would agree. We were attacked at speed and with venom by talented footballers. Their fury unhinged us, and their efficient finishing expelled us from the game in 18 deadly first half minutes. From 1-0 up to 3-1 down. Sala, Firmino and Mane running riot, and Arsenal defenders left sprawling like bowling pins.  In theory we still had a foot in the game and who can forget some of the storming, high scoring contests with the Scousers in recent years ? Unfortunately for us the normally porous Liverpool defensive line, though pierced early by our own version of swift and  incisive attack, were much better organised and denied us much chance to add to our early success. It was over. If you’d offered me 5-1 at Half time I’d have taken you hand off.


Is there much to be learned by us after such a public thrashing ? I think there is.

First, and probably foremost, we played against a very good football side who provided a display of how to win football matches. Look, learn, and absorb. None of our players will be any worse off for the learning experience.

Second, defensively, while we can get away with some patchy concentration and seat-of-our-pants work against plenty of teams in the PL and Europa ( and 22 the game run underlines it) against really good teams it is not going to work. I refuse to believe Lichtensteiner, all 250+ Juve appearances,  7 Scuddettos, multiple CL games, under his belt has suddenly forgotten how to defend or where to stand. Looking at the Keystone Cops performance of the Swiss, Mustafi and Sokratis in the first half however, with the actually RUNNING INTO ONE ANOTHER and even the dependable Torreira falling flat on his face (!), we need far better organisation at the back. You can see I am a football expert with such insight.  I strongly suspect it is a coaching issue though I accept it may have a personnel strain within it. The replacement of Shkodran by the evidently the 90% fit Laurent seemed to calm the hysteria along the back four, albeit Liverpool were no longer playing at full tilt. In the short term therefore Koscielny is likely to be a key player so let us hope the 90% can gradually increase to the full fitness.

Third, I thought that going forward last night, when we did have the ball, we did OK. I was dubious about choosing AMN and Iwobi but both played well all evening. Kosalinac battled hard and Ramey did fine. Laca was unlucky with his penalty shout, possibly because he tried to stay on his feet for a stride when other players when they feel “contact” would hit the deck immediately.

A few games this afternoon to keep an eye on. I expect little joy but, as we saw at Wembley yesterday, it is strange how the crumbs of relief spill from the breadboard of Life when you least expect it.

I am off to breakfast. Enjoy Sunday.




About anicoll5

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

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90 comments on “Arsenal: Hide not your deeds nor your omission

  1. Compliment of the season to everyone in the house.

    A5, I don’t get the drift here. Every manager play his best 11. Why is it only emery who changes from game to game. I think those who blamed Wenger for playing same 11 always can now see that every top team must do so. Even if he approaches some big games like Liverpool and city with such mindset why do that against lesser teams? We all know city best 11 when everyone is fit,same as Liverpool spuds and Chelsea. Barcelona psg and every other top clubs. Is it only emery who reads games? There is no consistency in this team. If that should continue,it might cause some problems. I have no problem with him benching ozil or Ramsey for that matter but let your team gel together. Simple.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Layksite
    Well said and If this trend continues I will lose faith in Emery.
    Playing with inconsistent team selection.,playing out of position and benching your best players is hilarious.


  3. I watched the Giroud incident and it was an accident from what I could see Rich, neither, either or both players could have been injured. I doubt VAR will stop tackles being made as a striker is shooting in the box. I shall be interested to see if Olivier is back on his feet for the 19th. He is much more of a threat than Morata. Fingers crossed.


  4. I don’t think every manager plays their “best 11” every match Layks – got any evidence of that over the past ten years .


  5. Ps as “we all know city best 11 when everyone is fit” could you just jot them down for me. I could probably pick 4-5 first choices but the rest ? Pppft.


  6. anicol

    Fair enough Andy

    I only judged it on the pics and, from them, it looked like one of those where defender went in recklessly, knowing you can nearly always get away with it if striker gets shot off.


  7. Thanks Labo and Andy Nic for these great posts. You make the whole business so much better. Apologies for having been missing in action over the last few days. A trip to the outlaws and the Cheltenham pantomime trumped Anfield but from what I read I think the slapstick I saw was less painful.
    I feel sorry for Emery atm and was impressed by his honesty after the game. One day we might know what lies behind his selection policy and I suspect that his hands are tied in ways I do not appreciate.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. By the way, lost in all the Christmas action, there was a passage of play the other day in a game which highlighted for me a problem with VAR which seems insurmountable to me however you do it.

    West Ham game where Anderson scored two good goals. *checks* Southampton.

    The second came on a breakaway from a Saints corner. Anyway, in moments after, tv people went back and declared, with pretty good reason, West Ham were lucky as their player -Rice- had committed foul in box just before the breakaway, which should have resulted in a pen.

    Rice was indeed all over the player. Type of foul which is more likely to be spotted by video officials than on pitch ref.

    But…exactly how are they supposed to spot it, make double sure, then alert a ref, in the however many seconds it took for the lightening quick break and goal? They absolutely can’t afford a maybe in that situation- as it would be farce to stop it when they aren’t 100% sure.

    Talking it through, I guess the protocol will be to let the break finish, same as they do with questionable offsides, then review if they feel a strong case. Though a complication here will be if they continue not to use pitch side monitors. In which case ref would have to take word of VAR, if they are vehement enough, over an incident they may have completely missed.

    In that case, you could presumably go on a break, score, then see the ref talking with VAR team, before being marched up other end of pitch for a penalty.

    A very tricky one. I think practicality would ensure they’d just let it go in that situation, even if they spotted the foul promptly but the break was well under way.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. When we went unbeaten, one can easily predict our starting 11 when all is fit. Every title winning squad is like that. Mourinhos first spell at Chelsea was successful because of the consistency in playing squad. Same everywhere. Pep at Barcelona you can easily predict who is starting. Zidane practically paraded same set of players for 3 season and won 3 ucl in succession. Conte at jive and first season at Chelsea you can predict starting 11. Last season at city, when everyone is fit Henderson, walker stone otamendi mendi fernadinho de bryne Silva sane arguero Raheem. Lack of consistency at city this season I think is the main reason they are so far behind Liverpool who on their own have been consistent. Still one can still predict majority in Henderson Walter stone arguero starling fernadinho bernado laporte delph this is more than 4\5. But Liverpool until injury to Milner they play anod Gomez van dijk Robertson Milner fermino mane sala wajnadun Alison.
    I will like you to mention any club that has won any title changing the playing squad like we are doing at the moment. I just can’t think of any.


  10. A5

    Maybe Manc can rotate a bit but surely they have a starting 11 and I can easily put the WENGER best 11 for 2014-16


    I think above was the starting 11 more or less after rebuilding .
    There could be minor errors in the,above but above squad was the league winning squad imho had pigmob not favoured Vardy & co to rob us from the title in 15/16.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. FH Completely agree with your point on Emerys hands being tied, whether it be finances, others running the show, players on massive money, or all of the above, plus more we don’t know about?
    Injuries are not helping, believe Holding has been a huge loss for all his youth. Plus the fact every team knows we are defensively suspect, our players are being chased, harried, getting tired, nervous, and making mistakes, sometimes, really stupid mistakes. Probably doesn’t help that diving and other forms of cheating are so well rewarded against them either.
    Emery has a decent pedigree but suspect he needs help from above here- take “above” in any of its meanings-, as well as time.
    He is clearly trying to change things, and to invoke some complex tactical variation, as other currently esteemed managers have done, but I suspect some of the players are probably more unable and unsuited than unwilling to go with it all, causing him a big problem if there really is little money.
    Wasn’t happy , like most on sat, and I think emery and his bosses have to take a very close look at things as I am sure they will, but I completely back him even if I don’t get some things, he has a very difficult job on his hands, a job others, allegedly, including Allegri, Luis enrique, and even arteta were unwilling to take on for their reasons. Even our CEO did a rapid and unexpected runner, maybe for money, a new challenge, or who knows, but none of this suggests managing this team is some cushy number.
    Only fair to mention this pattern of poor defending and silly mistakes had set in before UE arrived, as had some of the lack of creativity , especially on losing Cazorla , with other players going off the boil in Wengers final year, perhaps they knew what was coming.
    The Lord only knows how UE sorts all this on a relatively limited budget, but I am sure he is the type of guy will do the best with the hand with which he has been given, which in reality, is all any of us can do.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Interesting blog here.

    As background, from a decent, reasonable bloke who, I think, was mostly supportive of Wenger. Also, I get impression from him his thoughts are his own- i.e. not overly influenced by others- and the result of plenty of pondering


    Liked by 2 people

  13. That goal conceded stat at the beginning of it suggests I was not wrong to have that feeling of crazy vulnerability prior to the game.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Thanks for that Mandy and I am annoyed with myself for having spent a couple of days on his back. That wasn’t fair of me.
    Winning sides do build momentum and because by and large they are chasing forward do avoid a lot of injuries and also benefit from most 50/50 decisions. The force is with them and they play with enthusiasm and conviction. I was hoping for that to build for us after putting Spurs to the sword but the swash and buckle evaporated all too soon.
    But if I were an official in charge of a sport I would look very, very carefully at sides or individuals who, in an era of marginal gains, suddenly streak ahead. More often than not if things seem too good to be true they normally aren’t that true at all.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11669/11595416/klopp-liverpool-dont-have-divers

    No divers at Liverpool!!! had to laugh. Not quite in the diving league of Spurs, but certainly on a par with city, IMO the worst diving teams are the top three. Coincidence?

    Liked by 1 person

  16. “A5

    Maybe Manc can rotate a bit but surely they have a starting 11 and I can easily put the WENGER best 11 for 2014-16


    The second half of the 14/15 season Szcz was dropped in favour of Ospina after the ‘tobacco’ incident at Southampton though allowed to play in the FA Cup. You must remember the smoking in the showers moment !? So that was no clear “first 11” pick. I agree 4-5 names stand out, if the had been fit. I’d say Nacho from 15 onwards, Kos, Ozil, Alexis and Santi. The rest ? in and out I’d say with good phases and other periods of shakey contribution over the three seasons. Same as in most clubs, same as us at the moment as far as I can see. Putting Theo as a first choice at any time in his AFC career baffles me.

    A word of warning though Ro, don’t ever, ever, EVER suggest that an Arsenal first choice 11 that does not have Aaron Ramsey as the first name on the team sheet. Your life will not be worth living. (winks)

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Tks fior correction A5

    Missing Ramsey a blatant mistake on my part. Though Theo did played a good number of matches in that period starting or coming off the bench.

    You didn’t commented on my view that this was a title winning first 11 .??

    Had pigmob not gifted the league to Liecester in 15/16 and as Shotta article depicted that if Cazorla did not got injured in 16/17 we would have been champions.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. If it was a title wining first 11 Ro it would have won the title. We had a huuuuuuuge chance in the year Leicester managed it. CFC and Citeh were relatively weak and MU staggering. Who would have thought that a club that had narrowly escaped relegation in 13/14, sacked their manager, recruited the (at the time) discredited Ranieri to take over would have pulled such a rabbit from the hat ??

    Santi got injured in November 15 and was out until a final day comeback, not 16/17. By then Leicester were already Champions. If the second injury against Ludogorets in Nov 16 had not happened and the osteomyelitis crippled him we could have pushed CFC closer probably and may have kept our CL place. He was not, in spite of what people will tell you, our only creative midfield player.

    Sadly we just did not have it in us that 15/16 season, albeit I appreciate other people see the outcome in other ways.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Prob know I think we do very badly from refs, and that it costs us a lot of points, but I stop short of thinking we would definitely do this or that if it were otherwise.

    Maybe that is inconsistent of me, but I just can’t do it.

    It’s too hard to calculate what it has cost us overall, or rather i feel it’s an impossible thing to work out.

    Could be a lack of imagination from me, but some alternate reality, where we do better with them or others don’t do so well, isn’t tangible enough to me, so I don’t know how it would go there.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Tks again A5 .
    I salute your accurate assessment of how things went during the last couple of seasons.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Don’t want to cry over spilled milk, but losing Santi was huge, possibly a blow Wenger never really recovered from, I firmly believe that to be pivotal in our relatively declining fortunes in the league.
    Along with the likes of Bobby, Thierry, Rosicky, Cesc and others, Cazorla is the very embodiment of the game as Wenger sees it.
    Sadly, Cazorla was never properly replaced, not easily done with the unique, Maybe other players suffered in his absence. This significantly blunted Wengers attacking play, which maybe in turn put pressure on the defence which it couldn’t always cope with, especially on losing Kos , Per, and in my view only, unwisely selling Gabriel and Coq without immediate replacements.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. The blessed oracle has revealed his knowledge

    Quite an impressive list of suitors for Rambo, as we are all aware, I am sure they have their reasons, but hope the club know what they have done.
    If the seer is correct, limited activity in Jan, with the chance of more in the summer. Sounds like a reluctance to bring back Callum, over incurring a fee, which would surely be peanuts, especially with our injuries in defence? And how much would Cahill cost to loan? And maybe more understandably they don’t want to interrupt Nelsons progress in Germany.
    Oh, and none of Stans personal money, but we know that.
    move along, no Oligarchs, tyrants, launderers or people,who throw money around here, patience required as Emery mounds his own squad.
    Happy New Year

    Liked by 1 person

  23. well Mandy, so Ramsey who is not good enough for our team has only the minnows of Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, Juventus, PSG and Real Madrid to chose from. The poor lad, what a step down for him.

    as for recalling Chambers, to shore up our defense, well he can’t get in the Fulham defense and they play him at defensive midfield.
    On to Cahill, I’ve not seen a loan fee mentioned, but Aston Villa pulled out of a loan deal due to his £150K a week wages, which would mean £4M in wages for a rest of season loan.

    Nelson’s progress as far as I can see has not been all that some would like us to believe, yes he began well, a few goals, a few starts, important goals even as a sub, even had Southgate talking about an England call up for the lad, but since the initial great first month to six weeks, the lad has barely made a start, and most of the time he is a late sub, five, ten, fifteen minutes here and there, don’t let the twitter experts who think he should be starting for us fool you, he is struggling a bit, his manager at Hoffenheim has even stated a couple of times that Reiss has a lot to learn before he can nail down a regular spot with them, and the defensive side of his game needs a lot of work, plus his understanding of the game.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. We’ve received a freshupdate from our medical team ahead of our match against Fulham at Emirates Stadium on New Year’s Day.

    Here’s the latest team news from our medical department:

Mesut Ozil
    Left knee. Being assessed ahead of Fulham (h) on Tuesday, January 1.

    Shkodran Mustafi
    Right hamstring. Being assessed ahead of Fulham (h) on Tuesday, January 1.

    Nacho Monreal
    Right hamstring. Being assessed ahead of Fulham (h) on Tuesday, January 1.

    Hector Bellerin
    Left calf. Being assessed ahead of Fulham (h) on Tuesday, January 1.

    Dinos Mavropanos
    Groin injury. Being integrated back into full training.

    Emile Smith Rowe
    Right hip. Expected to return to full training in two weeks.

    Henrikh Mkhitaryan
    Right foot. Fractured metatarsal. Expected to return to full training in February.

    Rob Holding
    Left knee. Recovering after surgery.

    Danny Welbeck
    Right ankle. Recovering after surgery.

    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.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. I’m heartbroken. If we had treated Aaron like we treated Bacary Sagna when they couldn’t come to a contract agreement, I would be ok with it. Still heartbroken, but understanding the need for a player to get that last big contract and our not being able to justify the wages. It happens. But, that’s not what we did. We humiliated him and benched him in favor of lesser players. All to make a point. Well, if Ornstein is to be believed today, we’ve decided he’s worth more to the squad for the rest of the season than any money we would get now. There’s still time to show we’re not completely stupid. We’ll see I guess. Here’s hoping Aaron makes it three trophy winning goals for Arsenal before he goes.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. These medical updates are a bit wierd. The position is we have four players who may or may not be fit to start tomorrow! They like to keep you on the edge of your seat don’t they ?

    Liked by 1 person

  27. yes anicol the injury updates are a bit odd, and unlike in years past, they don’t come from the manager at his presser, they come from the medical team, and normally give very little detail at all, and set backs to a players recovery are never gone into, it just changes his return due date.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. alabama you need to understand that Juve, Bayern, Inter, Real, PSG only interested in Ramsey cos he is on a free, unlike Arsenal who would it seems have to pay a transfer fee for him as well as the big wages, well that is what one of the big bloggers basically suggested earlier today

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Still say it’s impossible for us to know what went on with Ramsey, as i sure as hell don’t know what he was offered, when, why it went unsigned if he wanted to do so, if some agreed date for a decision expired, nor if we summarily withdrew it and closed the door unceremoniously.

    It’s possible we behaved badly, or stupidly, but also seems as possible to me we didn’t.

    Anyway, looks like it’s really happening, and it’s a damn shame.

    Liked by 2 people

  30. How does this series of decisions display good business sense or “values” the club hierarchy hold out to keep supporters’ loyalty? This answer is always going to elude me.

    Liked by 2 people

  31. so now Arsenal are being linked with the double loan signings of Barcelona’s Denis Suarez and Chelsea’s Gary Cahill, well that will be the midfield and defense sorted, no?

    Liked by 1 person

  32. https://mobile.twitter.com/MrArsenicTM/status/1079857949110095887

    If this is to be believed, Ornstein was saying on Radio 5 that the Ramsey situation is down to Emery.
    Personally not sure what to believe any more! Process, process, process!

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Happy new year everyone 😉👍

    Liked by 1 person

  34. No one is bigger than the club, but Ramsey and Ozil are bigger than Emery, At least to me they are. Happy new year.

    Liked by 2 people

  35. Love you George (and the rest of you guys, too). Happy New Year.

    Liked by 2 people

  36. Luv u George.
    You are a, true gooner.
    Why can’t we love the players we admire playing for the Arsenals?

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Happy new year, folks. (No hangover! Yeeeeeahhhh)

    Start as I don’t mean to go on but probably will.

    Just had a look at Twitter and had an unexpected reply from someone who was once the big cheese in pgmol world, Riley’s predecessor.

    Confirmed that Derm Gallagher is paid by pgmol for his media appearances.

    Nothing less than a sham then, in my opinion, that he is presented ubiquitously as an independent voice, billed only as an ex-ref.

    Being directly employed by them quite obviously defines what his overall attitude is going to be. Poor of them-pgmol- to deliberately obscure the fact, but perhaps more concerning to me is the decision of the media to happily go along with it. What is their motivation for deliberately deceiving people?

    Doubt it would even occur to anyone but obsessive, incredibly suspicious types like myself that he was anything other than an independent ex ref keeping himself busy and earning a bit of cash in semi-retirement.

    Oh well.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. New post up, New Year in.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Happy new year to all positivitas.
    Let’s win today and make it at the very least difficult for united to take the fifth place trophy.

    Liked by 1 person

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