Arsenal, Dean and the keen Tangerines


Good morning Positive Arsenal fans,

An early evening victory over a genuinely plucky Blackpool was an easy watch. The game had a balance of decent football from both teams and was enough of a contest until our third goal to ensure that nagging doubt lurked in the back of my mind. We had seen the Seasiders at the Ems in the Autumn and they had put up a good show then so the final 60/40 possession statistics were no fluke. A certain hint of controversy for our first and second goals ? Well possibly, both tight calls and in the great scheme of football ‘things’, as I often say,  swings and roundabouts, swings and roundabouts.

Of our lads Joe Willock is gathering the deserved praise for his two goals, both the result of his brain being half a second faster than the home defenders to a bouncing ball in the 6 yard box. Eddie Nketiah managed to create three chances but convert none, though Blackpool’s keeper can take credit for at least one very good save. And Alex Iwobi put on the sort of creative performance that we know he is capable of. Our  young Nigerian did his work in a highly disciplined way though, rarely wasting a pass or losing possession. At the back Jenko earned praise for his hard work and concentration. After a jittery start Sokratis imposed himself on the Blackpool forward line. AMN put a solid claim in for a starting place on the right flank.


For our opponents they had their chances to score and on another evening the final score could have been closer than 3-0.  I have no idea what is going on at the club between the fans and the owners, other than it has been going on for many years, with fan boycotts, court cases and much, much abuse. It resulted in an elf clambering on to our coach roof in an effort to delay the start of the game, which on the scale of bizarre  protest is a 9.


Instinctively I am on the fans’ side but the thousands of empty seats at Bloomfield Road last night, did not suggest to me that either side is on the brink of whatever constitutes ‘victory’. A snapshot for Arsenal fans of what life is like on ‘the other side’.

A week off now until a Saturday lunchtime kick off at West Ham, and a little break I am looking forward to.

Have a good  six days.

172 comments on “Arsenal, Dean and the keen Tangerines

  1. oh shit soz anicoll didnt see that you had put it up already! Mind blindness. I award myself the dumber than a Spud award. Arthur Askeys laughing, somewhere.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. If feeling disgusted that there’s no accountability with how refs are just allowed to get away with crap like that means I’m outraged… then yes I’m outraged.

    VAR is not there to make the referee look foolish but to make sure the right call get made. Making excuses for it by deflecting attention away serves no purpose. Let’s stay on topic and tell it like it is.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Penalty or not, Harry Kane did dive, himself, Son, Lamella, Alli and I would imagine Erikson and the rest are clearly drilled and instructed to dive on contact.
    They hunt penalties, and will doubtless get one against us at Wembley
    But to totally contradict myself said, so far this season, Spurs are middling when it comes to pens in the league at least, they have received 3, the leaders being Utd, Palace and Bournemouth all on 6, Brighton and LCFC just behind on 5, we have a grand total of 1!

    Palace are a strange phenomenon, 6 pens in the league this season, a whopping 10 last, 7 the season before – the Saha effect?
    Bournemouth also do well, 6 in the league this year, 3 last and 10 before that.

    Think the learning point is to find out what Palace are doing, what Leicester did when they won the league as Vardy seemed to become increasingly unsettled by the effects of gravity, the team getting 13 pens that year. And what Liverpool did in the year of the Gerrard slip, it seems plenty Liverpool players slipped that year as they racked up 12 pens in the league
    We tend to hit at 6/7 in a very good year in recent years, punctuated by 2/3 pens

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Oliver would say, presumably, that based upon the advice received from the VAR official he did make the “right” decision. Simply because Sarri does not agree with it does not make it a wrong decision. There is no deflection involved.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. If you have fast attacking players or wing backs who run into the box with the ball at their feet and take on defenders you will get penalties Mandy. Unless they are placing against a very good set of defenders someone will make a clumsy hurried challenge and a foul will be given.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. By deflection I meant this part on the same 10:17am post that followed the “angles” bit: “Wild and unnecessary challenge by Kepa, penalty every time.”

    Whatever opinion on his challenge it had nothing to do on which camera angle got used.

    2) “Simply because Sarri does not agree with it does not make it a wrong decision.”

    The decision was wrong. Sarri provided clear definitive video evidence. Which unfortunately cannot overturn the ref decision.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sarri was only commenting on the offside as far as I saw. He had nothing to say on the penalty as, in his view, there should have been no penalty.

    The camera angle that Sarri relies on however is a camera angle taken by Chelsea Football Club, and only Chelsea football club.

    As I said it does not matter what Sarri’s camera shows it matters what the VAR official has looked at.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. A little illumination on how the VAR system works from Sam Wallace in the Telegraph:

    “The VAR for the semi-final first leg, based at the broadcast centre at Stockley Park, west London, was referee Chris Kavanagh, one of the country’s leading young officials and recently entrusted with last month’s Merseyside derby. He also gave the penalty for Newport County against Leicester City at the weekend in the FA Cup third round.

    Kavanagh was shown only the angle of the incident broadcast by Sky Sports during the game which was not, as Sarri later pointed out, in line with the last Chelsea defender, Cesar Azpilicueta. The angle that Sarri’s team had found was in line, showed the offside line at a right angle to the touchline. While Kane’s feet were onside, his upper body appeared to have crossed the line.

    The replays are served up to VAR by an operator from the technology provider Hawk-Eye who have to work within a limited timeframe to get a decision correct. They try to identify the best angle in the quickest possible time. In this case, referee Michael Oliver applied the correct protocol to allow play to run on after the offside decision, whereupon Kane was fouled by Kepa Arrizabalaga and the penalty was eventually given.”

    Odd cos if you look at the picture in the Telegraph Sarri relies on that is not taken from an angle in line with last defender either ?


    Liked by 1 person

  9. anicoll

    Nice one providing that latest bit of info. Genuinely informative. Don’t think I’d considered possibility the replays selected were completely outside pgmol control.

    My reading of that situation is that there is a clear tradeoff between waiting for extra replays, which on average give a slight but distinct improvement to odds of making a good/correct call, or putting a lot of emphasis on getting things done speedily.

    It figures we are in line for putting emphasis on speed as that has been outlined as a concern and a priority from the off.

    Still not clear to me how the lines on screen system works as in the earliest usage of it we saw those comically wonky lines across the screen, suggesting it was done manually as opposed to some fancy computerised system.

    You’d hope there has been a vast improvement on that front but no way of knowing for sure.

    The view provided certainly wasn’t enough for me to be sure about anything unless those blue lines are ultra reliable in the same manner the goal-line technology is.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m not getting too dismayed on the pen call simply because I have to pick my battles and conserve a little energy/outrage, and that is one that, I think, they’d even award us every time.

    Whether we have anyone that proficient is another matter.

    Think the answer is a resounding no as Kane has been allowed to absolutely perfect his technique.

    It’s nonetheless a sad charade to me,though, as nothing he did fits with my idea of playing ‘normally’ and honestly. He had no thoughts of reaching the ball in order to carry on.

    There was the race, then once it was clear Kepa would not stop, it becomes about getting any touch at all, waiting for the contact, then initiating the theatrics which are not even based upon what would really happen if you were taken out by a keeper while trying to follow your touch and remain on your feet.

    Unfortunately the whole idea of what’s normal in that situation is dying and based largely on my memories of playing. Normal is probably now trying to win the race, get any touch, and then try sell it to the maximum.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Mail reporting it slightly differently:

    ‘Instead, the VAR made his decision using replays from different angles made available by the broadcaster, which in this case was Sky.’

    ‘The virtual offside lines Kavanagh used were superimposed onto the Sky footage using Hawkeye software which is trusted and was tested before the game.’

    I wasn’t aware of replays from different angles shown by Sky during the game, so maybe they had a few others which weren’t shown to viewers but were to the VAR official.


    Seems the media are still struggling to get heads around some very basic things, mind

    The headline of the article i got that from is about the FA backing Oliver ‘after Tottenham’s controversial VAR winner’ and also say ‘referee Michael Oliver used VAR to award Tottenham a penalty’

    That wording is all entirely inaccurate to me, as he did not make any other decision beyond saying ‘check it’ or ‘i’m pretty sure that’s a pen, check it and offside’, etc.

    Once it goes to VAR the decision seems to me to be clearly theirs, so there’s not even the slightest bit of controversy directly attached to Oliver. He couldn’t not have gone to VAR there, and obviously awarding the pen is then a formality based on the advice given to him.

    If the VAR ref insisted it was not a pen, then Oliver would have no realistic recourse but to agree, given the decision not to use pitched monitors.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. It never occurred to me that there was some HawkEye employee in the middle of this RICH, desperately checking his 12 camera angles asap, to pick out he best one(s) to send to the VAR official.

    Sounds a bit of a nightmare tbh and I can se why it takes a while to get the decision sorted out and back to the ref.

    Presumably as they get more experienced, and the VAR officials get more experienced in looking and communicating their decisions it will speed up.

    I can see why the automatic introduction of pitchside monitors now, and presumably another period of transfer and review by the blue arsed HawkEye employee, with the system already not running smoothly, could be tricky.

    Plenty more testing and practise required imo.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. It was a dive and offside however if Oliver has asked both to be checked then he has no blame which is what the PGMOL want, no blame for the on pitch officials. Obviously any dogey decisions can be made behind closed doors by anonymous officials. Like Shotta said this deception making ppl think our VAR is better is genius.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Hmmm – but Shotta also said that pitchside monitors were the more likely root of deception because the referee would not risk humiliation by changing their previous on field decision. He was quite emphatic, as I recall.

    So that is both ends boxed off corruption-wise on VAR Ian – Stockley Park = dodgy decisions, anonymous officials, and closed doors.

    Pitchside monitors = dodgy decisions, refs not willing to change their minds.

    (Rolls eyes)

    Liked by 2 people

  15. You are right Andy, it would appear there is no system that they are not prepared to corrupt, so they can keep control of where the points are most likely to end up. They are determined to keep game management, rather than apply the rules of the game.
    And before you ask “they” are the PL executives , and “they” will do it through “their” employees ,the PGMOL

    Liked by 2 people

  16. To be clear, I believe they are as corrupt as fuck.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. So not the owners then – the PL executives ?

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Here’s the latest team news update from our medical team ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash at West Ham United:

    Hector Bellerin
    Returned to full training.
    (Left calf)

    Laurent Koscielny
    Returned to full training.
    (Back spasm during warm-up at Blackpool)

    Dinos Mavropanos
    Returned to full training.

    Shkodran Mustafi
    Returned to full training.
    (Right hamstring)

    Nacho Monreal
    Returned to full training.
    (Right hamstring)

    Mesut Ozil
    Returned to full training.
    (Left knee)

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

    Rob Holding
    Left knee. Recovering after surgery.

    Danny Welbeck
    Right ankle. Recovering after surgery.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. That’ll be City through then

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Arsenal Women
    ‏Verified account @ArsenalWFC
    5m5 minutes ago

    Full-time: @ArsenalWFC 2-1 @BCFCwomen

    Semi-finals, here we come… 👋

    Never in doubt 😉

    Arsenal women come from behind with goals from Danielle Donk(84) and Vivianne Miedema(90) seeing them into the semi final

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Patrick Timmons
    ‏ @PatrickTimmons1
    2h2 hours ago

    Lucas Torreira: ‘I’m part of a squad that has got some stars within it, people who have achieved a lot throughout their entire careers. It’s incredible to be in the same squad as a player like Mesut Özil. It makes me proud. I try to learn from him, and others, on the pitch.’

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Not sure why this is the moment more concrete details of VAR are emerging- maybe because Chelsea are a big club and one who aggressively defend themselves by any means?- but I approve.

    Some good stuff , particularly the massive difference in the amount of operators scanning for angles between world cup and here. 20 world cup, 2 here.


    Liked by 1 person

  23. Guardian reporting that Ramsey’s contract with Juventus has been finalized. £36MM over 5 years. Fare thee well (banned teary-faced emoji).

    Liked by 5 people

  24. new head coach, new scout guru, new contract expert, new CEO’s etc etc and here we are one third of the way through the January Transfer Window and not a new signing to be seen, the new regime is very much like the old regime,(which is no bad thing)

    Liked by 1 person

  25. I’m long enough in the tooth to have survived Liam Brady going to Juve for a pittance I think, as much as I will miss him, that I will survive seeing Aaron Ramsey go to Juve for free.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. “new head coach, new scout guru, new contract expert, new CEO’s etc etc and here we are one third of the way through the January Transfer Window and not a new signing to be seen, the new regime is very much like the old regime,(which is no bad thing)”

    Apart from any actual money now not being available, apparently (?)

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Heartbreaking, and in my limited outsider view, unnecessecary and self harming, but good luck to Aaron Ramsey.

    Liked by 6 people

  28. Obviously I’m sad to see Aaron Ramsey go, and I can’t see how it benefits the club to lose such a player. However, for him I think it is an excellent move and the right thing to do at this stage of his life and career. A new career challenge and a new life to be lived, plus it would seem significnat financial security. What, as the saying goes, is not to like. And it also means that I have another reason to follow Juventus, my favourite keeper already being there.

    Liked by 5 people

  29. really sad to see Aaron go! really cant understand that decision except it being financial; happy for him able to work on the deal with Juve.

    Wishing Him all the best

    Liked by 2 people

  30. Ramsey was a goner when the club couldn’t afford to keep Chamberlain, who won’t get the chance to see if he’s as good as Sterling, who was very impressive last week, after the double knee knack but fair play to his agent that hoovered up the two best young British talents in that age group.

    Sterling is the best English footballer at this momen but gets none of the hype. Some people will be inacpable of acknowledging the bleeding obvious but it is what it is. I don’t think that Cyril Regis, John Barnes or David Rocastle lost their love of the game when pointing out the bias they encountered on the pitch and elsewhere, or that they are anti-English, which would be weak critique but one that should be dismissed nonetheless.

    Like the Arsenal faithful who sang for their club legend last weekend, I know ‘Bama heard that chant loud and clear, I’m still hoping the club will re-sign the best british midfielder of his age group, I’m hoping the real life Roy of the Rovers doesn’t end up playing for a club of match fixing doping cheats (Note for the Ostriches: they do exist).

    Liked by 3 people

  31. An understandable penalty call in real time was given but the foul on Torreira was not called by Apprentice Taylor the other week as he skipped above two players making late lunges from either side, much more clearly a foul then the one Chelsea keeper making the late lunge from one side only, all makes for an instructive reference for the objective observer.

    PGMO employees have their eye on Toerrira who’s been in the league two minutes and not upon the Alan Shearer handicap* as applied to Harry Kane who has been in the league for, a few years.


    Swings & roundabouts:
    Are merry-go-rounds designed using calculations and gears that follow regular and rhythmical patterns and periods? Or are they just random mechanisms thrown together with an arbitrary and ever changing number of teeth on the Gears and a resultant output dependant upon their mood, or upon who is standing on the carrousel?

    Asking for a friend.

    The elbow in the face of Lacazette that gave him a black eye was not a soft pen. HTH.

    *not the name of a nodding nag at Godolphin stables: couldneverhappenheremeoldguv

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Can’t keep track of all the new staff over last year or so. Even some highly respected coach of the coaches has come in.

    I have vague impression it’s probably a good thing, but with Edu being mentioned for a big role this week that’s first time I’ve wondered if we might end up with too many cooks. Cooks.

    Liked by 2 people

  33. I think I shall probably get over Ramsey leaving, eventually. It helps I have the chance to have someone to “blame”, blame being an essential part of the fan experience.

    Same as every other player who has left though, a piece of my Arsenal jigsaw, in place.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Ramsey going to jive for what is like 138k/w. If this is true,why is everyone saying he left for the money? If arsenal can’t pay 138k/wk to Aaron,how much are they willing to pay? Something isn’t right. I thought they said he wanted 250k/wk. And how much is arsenal expecting him to demand,100k?

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Well, certainly going to miss him, if its really true.But I dont blame him either.G-d bless you Rambo, thanks for all the great plays and wonderful goals. Man, theres been some great goals! An Arsenal legend, and a good bloke too, who didnt deserve the poop he got physically and verbally. Du bist keyn knekht.


    On a wagon bound for market
    There’s a calf with a mournful eye
    High above him flies the swallow
    Winging swiftly thru the sky.

    How the winds are laughing
    They laugh with all their might
    Laugh and laugh the whole day through
    And half the summer’s night

    Dona dona, dona etc.

    “Stop complaining,” said the farmer
    “Who told you a calf to be?
    Why don’t you have wings to fly with
    Like the swallow so proud and free?”

    Dona dona, dona etc.

    Calves are easily bound and slaughtered
    Never knowing the reason why
    But whoever treasures freedom
    Like the swallow must learn to fly.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Two speculative observations: 1. The decision wasn’t wholly his, & 2. Figure does not include sign-on bonus.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. For those interested in corporate developments, this is a very sensible analysis:

    Arsenal and FFP: Why Your Anger with Kroenke is Misplaced

    Something else that has been knocking around in my head recently is that the club have been spending on backroom staff. Now, the figures are lower than those of the playing staff, but they aren’t negligible. We’ve created positions for a new assistant head coach and data scientist (at minimum) and promoted existing employees to positions of head of football, managing director, head of football operations, technical director, and loan manager. Some reports suggest we’re also recruiting another technical staff member (Edu).

    All those staffing moves cost salary money, which affects the balance sheet and (probably, though I’ve never seen this confirmed) PL & UEFA financial compliance.

    Liked by 3 people

  38. 900ft Gunner

    I’ve always suspected that while non-playing staff, youth investments, infrastructure, etc are a very real factor in our budgeting, and of course are all funded by the club’s own earnings…the story is likely to be totally different with certain rivals, namely Chelsea and especially City.

    My hunch is that it is easier to keep that stuff off the books than it is with playing staff, and also that there are exemptions and loopholes with youth and infrastructure that they will use (and misuse) for the same purpose.

    Number of things never been known to me, such as whether those youth exemptions to ffp include youth wages and fees. Just this week I read an article praising City’s academy and the money they have brought in through sales- over a hundred million, with Diaz the latest. *

    Every one of the players was bought in from elsewhere, including the two English lads included. My understanding is there is typically a fee involved, if only a training one.

    For every big success they have with a sale I would guess there are between 5 and 10 (closer to ten) bought who do not achieve notable success, and many who downright fail.

    That adds up to a fair bit over the years, as do the wages which I’m sure are among the highest in the world for youngsters.

    Again guessing, but I think it’s likely most or all of that is off their books for ffp, and so is done with pure ownership funds, while for us, because every penny literally comes from the club’s earnings, any expenditure at any level of the club comes from that very real budget, even things which may stay off ffp because of exemptions.

    * The Iheanacho one pisses me right off. 26 million they got, and all on the back of him getting a work permit after being awarded best player in winning Nigerian side at u17 world cup.

    We were in for two star players from winning Nigerian side at a later edition of u17 world cup. Could get work permits for neither, even though one of the two was also awarded player of tournament. He signed anyway and is still miles off getting a world permit.The other went to Villarreal instead and is now being talked of as a 40 million footballer.

    Liked by 2 people

  39. Ramseys wages at Juventus are net, it equates to £250k pw gross. Plus a hefty signing on bonus.
    He will likely win title after title and be in the closing stages of the CL year in year out. So it’s goodbye from me, and good luck to him. But………………..we should be keeping him.

    Liked by 4 people

  40. How does anyone, anywhere, other than the people in the room negotiating and signing the pre contract agreement know what Ramsey’s wages are, or are not ? How does anyone know what his wages are or ever have been at Arsenal,?

    What is it about wages and footballers – netto indeed !

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Good piece from Nate Smith 900

    Liked by 1 person

  42. so Emery gave a transfer update today, and he said Arsenal can only sign players on loan this window, now I haven’t a clue how a club with over £200M in the bank can’t afford any transfer fee, many rumors had it that our big problem was the FFP restrictions regarding overall Wage increase per year, but Emery’s comments fly completely in the face of that, as any player we loan in will be paid by us, so increasing our overall wages,

    has anyone got an explanation or is there really something rotten in the state of Arsenal

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Not a scooby Ed

    Unsatisfying answer, but I guess we’ll see or at least have a much better idea in the Summer.

    If nothing spent now and modest – below 50- then I suppose it’ll be pretty clear money is indeed tight.

    And if nothing spent now and we’re talking about having nothing then…phhh.

    I don’t know. Just doesn’t feel quite right for ffp to be biting us when there’s little mention or evidence of it doing the same elsewhere.

    Everton the one for me. They really comfortable enough within the limits while we aren’t?

    Think that Swiss ramble piece said Utd’s spending power was either 8 or 10 times that of Everton’s.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Read that piece 900ftgooner provided link to and it is very good.

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Ed 7:16pm

    That one had me in a spin too but perhaps, under correction, its the language barrier and he could be talking about the Denis Suarez deal in isolation as being a loan deal with the option to buy in the off season.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. Maybe he means the players we want to sign permanent are not available in January

    Liked by 1 person

  47. Emery’s comments today – taken from Arsenal.com

    on who may come in…
    We cannot sign permanently. We can only loan players. Only loan players.

    on Denis Suarez…
    I don’t know his situation now. We can only sign players later on. I know the club is working on possibilities of which players can help us with big performances like we need now.

    on other players being linked like Ever Banega…
    I know this player and he’s a very good player.

    on Ever Banega…
    I cannot tell you more.

    on how much of an input he has…
    I can say to you that the club is working, the club is telling me the different situations in each moment. At the moment, we haven’t had any news today about that.

    Liked by 1 person

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