Arsenal: How it (didn’t) happen

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Good Morning Positive Arsenal fans,

Another morning, another inquest into an away defeat against an ‘Ammers side who I anticipated would be put away with a little bit to spare. The aim was to be back on level points with Chelsea by 3pm, even in we knew the chance of Newcastle getting anything at the Bridge was remote.

We started well, had control  of midfield and possession in the Ammers’ half, opened them up in the first twenty odd minutes on two occasions, but fluffed our lines. The home side got back into the contest, managed a couple of half chances themselves with Anderson v lively,  and young Rice misdirecting a header from one of their many corners. The first half ended a respectable 0-0. No worries.

We switched off at the start of the second half and were punished.  A poor clearance, Anderson and Nasri combine to clip the ball into the Arsenal box. Rice in three clear yards of space. No second reprieve. I hope Granit reflects carefully on his part in what proved to be the turning point of the game.

Within 30 seconds of the restart Laca bearing down on the goal only to put in another underpowered strike. And so it went on really. 40+ minutes of us trying to break into the Ammers box, with a change of personnel, with Aaron and Lucas on, and a change of formation. To be fair, for about 10 minutes of the 40 , we showed a real sense of urgency in our play to recover the deficit. After that flurry though the final 30 minutes the Ammers held us off with some ease. 2 shots on target all afternoon. Really not good enough. Of our players who emerge with a scintilla credit on a grey afternoon I would give Alex Iwobi a pat on the back as when the ball was at his feet he put the opposition on the back foot. Kolasinac did OK in working the flanks, and Leno did nothing wrong all afternoon. Ironically Leno had a quiet afternoon by our standards, away from home.

So another week off and then the mighty Chelsea roll into town. They have the advantage of being able to play for the draw and maintain their comfortable six point lead. If they were to win then six would become nine points and I suspect that the finance bods in Highbury House could start budgeting for another Europa League bonanza for the 2019-2020 season. If we were to win however the route to 4th reopens.




254 comments on “Arsenal: How it (didn’t) happen

  1. Haha.
    < Bielsa

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What would Football be without characters like Bielsa, Bergkamp, Ozil, Romario, Ronaldinho, Sol Campbell, Wenger and all the rest?*

    Pulis’, Mourinho’s and the other “sh*t on a stick” merchants don’t get in according to Spain’s greatest coach and I wouldn’t argue with him even when he showed understandable faith and trust in players he might have let go, or in Silva over Cazorla. The only game Spain won in 2014 is the one in which Cazorla started heh!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. now the media are suggesting that long serving Arsenal scout (and former AFC youth player) Francis Cagigao will be getting a promotion when Sven Mislintat leaves, and wait for this one, former Chief Scout , Steve Rowley, who was demoted when Sven game in, but still done some work for AFC, will now get a bigger scouting role for us.

    Also AFC looking to appoint a technical director, Edu seemingly has been offered the job, but may not take it. Just a thought, but if Cagigao is going to be the new chief scout, and Edu does take the technical director role, we would have a whole group of Spanish speakers in the main roles, Per might have to watch his back,

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Eddy are you being racialist?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I wonder what todays hack friction fiction will be with AFC? Wil they be sowing injury doubts before the Chelsea game?

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Indeed Arsehole blog and the Ornacle. As I mentioned earlier this week, a lot of noise with how much he earns. So did he have a knackered back? Was it tactical? Was it punishment and conflict?

    As to the 1.25 seconds of tedium.

    “these are not just rumours”…well wheres the evidence old bean, that isnt just hearsay through you?

    “he working extremely hard to get himself fit” …so hes not fit then?

    I wonder what Mesut would have to say to all these people about his side of events.

    Did football go to the dawgs?


    Liked by 3 people

  7. As I mentioned the other day I am not convinced by the PR managment at the club right now. It is hard to tell what is the party line, and as I see it little is being done to reasure and present a carefully thought out and coherent strategy. Who would have thought that the sad demise of Peter Hill-Wood would have left such a media vacuum.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. A little less P and R – a little more W would set me up nicely.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. i found these quotes from emery very odd, why did he answer the first question the way he did is beyond me, its as if he is trying to turn people against Ozil

    Mesut Ozil is back in full training – but will he be involved in Saturday’s game against Chelsea at Emirates Stadium?

    Unai Emery was asked about the World Cup winner in Thursday’s press conference at London Colney – and this is what he said:

    on whether Ozil is getting married…
    Yes, I spoke with him in the summer and he said he is going to get married this year – I think at the end of the season. But his private life is his life. I’ve also spoke to him because I want consistency. He’s had some injuries and these injuries mean that sometimes he is okay and sometimes he isn’t okay. I want every player to give the same work everyday to be okay for every match. With Mesut it’s the same. He didn’t play the last matches but to me he’s just like any other player. This Saturday he can be with us if he’s okay.

    on Ozil’s chances of playing at the weekend…
    Now? He’s training consistently with his work over the past two weeks and I think he can be.

    on whether the situation with Ozil is frustrating…
    I like to create the same spirit for all, and that spirit is every players gets and gives consistent work and moments with their performances but it’s not easy. Sometimes you are better and sometimes you are worse. I’m working with every player in the same way. The most important thing for me is how he can help us and how every player can help us with their consistency.

    on whether he could leave in January…
    I’m not thinking about that. I’m thinking about how he can help us this year with good performances. He’s had injuries and not been okay to play matches, but now after these two weeks maybe this Saturday will be okay for him.

    Copyright 2019 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

  10. There are two weeks until the end of the January transfer window – so how hopeful is Unai Emery of adding to his squad?

    Our head coach discussed his plans with the media on Thursday, and this is what he said:

    on bringing players in this month and whether there is any progress…
    This transfer window is not easy to take players that can help us with better performances than the players we have now. The club is working and I spoke with Sven, with Raul about different possibilities with players. They are working but it is not easy to take players that can help us with big performances now. I think it is more one transfer for something special you need that can help us. We are looking, the club is working with the possibility to loan players and if we can take for helping us in a different position on the team, then maybe we can.

    on Denis Suarez…
    They are conversations between us privately. I don’t want to say to you this private conversation with the club.

    on what is happening with Sven Mislintat…
    I was working with him the last two weeks. We had two or three meetings together and we are working normally. I don’t know another different issue to him.

    on whether he is leaving…
    I don’t know. When I spoke with him it was all normal. My relationship with him for transfers in the last two or three weeks, we are speaking about that.

    on whether he is unaware of any possibility of Sven leaving…
    No, no. Today, for me, the normality is working with him.

    on whether he has spoken with him today…
    Not today. But in the last two weeks, in two or three meetings. We had these meetings together.

    Copyright 2019 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

  11. So, from that fascinating forensic exchange between the cream of football journalism and Arsensl’s Head coach, I am confident Sven and Unai have indeed not spoken today.

    They can thank God none of them are required to work for a living.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. He may, nevertheless, have spoken to Sven recently, on matters of mutual interest. Which is good to know.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Arsenal Academy
    ‏Verified account @ArsenalAcademy
    2h2 hours ago

    📝 The teams are in! Here’s how #AFCU18 line up against @SpursOfficial this evening…

    Starting XI | Okonkwo; Daley-Campbell, Ogungbo, McGuinness, Swanson; Smith, McEneff, Cottrell; Amaechi, Balogun, Saka

    Bench | Graczyk, Lopez, Olayinka, Coyle, Greenwood

    Half-time: #AFCU18 1-2 Tottenham Despite a stunning equaliser from Cottrell, we’re trailing at the break 😩 BIG second-half needed 💪 #FAYouthCup 🏆

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Arsenal Academy
    ‏Verified account @ArsenalAcademy
    2m2 minutes ago


    @XavierAmaechi is fouled inside the penalty area – and @BukayoSaka87 converts from the spot 😎

    🔴 2-2 ⚪️ (51)

    Liked by 1 person

  15. our Head of Academy, Per Mertesacker went to the NBA game tonight despite our U18’s playing spurs in the fa youth cup

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Arsenal Academy
    ‏Verified account @ArsenalAcademy
    3m3 minutes ago

    Full-time: #AFCU18 2-2 Tottenham

    We’re going to extra time… 👀

    #FAYouthCup 🏆

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Arsenal Academy
    ‏Verified account @ArsenalAcademy
    1m1 minute ago


    @XavierAmaechi fires home at the far post to hand us the lead 😄

    🔴 3-2 ⚪️ (95)

    #FAYouthCup 🏆

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Arsenal Academy
    ‏Verified account @ArsenalAcademy
    2m2 minutes ago

    AND IT’S FOUR! 😅

    @XavierAmaechi’s saved effort falls to the feet of Balogun, who finishes from inside the six-yard box 👊

    🔴 4-2 ⚪️ (102)

    #FAYouthCup 🏆

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Arsenal Academy
    ‏Verified account @ArsenalAcademy
    16s16 seconds ago

    Half-time of ET: #AFCU18 4-2 Tottenham

    Strikes from @XavierAmaechi and Balogun have placed us in front 👊

    Keep it up lads 👏

    #FAYouthCup 🏆

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Arsenal Academy
    ‏Verified account @ArsenalAcademy
    3m3 minutes ago

    WHAT A GOAL! 😱

    @BukayoSaka87 fires a left-footed into the top corner from 20 yards 🔥

    🔴 5-2 ⚪️ (108)

    #FAYouthCup 🏆

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Per should take in a basketball game more often

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Arsenal Academy
    ‏Verified account @ArsenalAcademy
    2m2 minutes ago

    It’s happened again 😉

    #FAYouthCup 🏆

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Cracking stuff for the youngsters beating Spurs.

    Other promising players around, and not forgetting Willock and Nketiah, but Saka, Amaechi, Smith-Rowe and Nelson are seriously promising players.

    Two real, fast, left-footed wingers in the first two, who excel at dribbling, shooting, crossing.

    Nelson and Smith-Rowe obviously great prospects as well.

    Fingers crossed, folks.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. If one or both of Saka or Amaechi can make it by the way, the theory about us not getting many pens due to a lack of the right type of players should be thoroughly put to the test!

    Those two run with the ball at speed into the box and have plenty of tricks up their sleeve to beat players.

    Liked by 3 people

  25. Raúl Sanllehí and Vinai venkatesham will be attending and doing a Q&A at an Arsenal Fans Forum before our game with Chelsea on Saturday

    Liked by 1 person

  26. I’ve seen many stupid comments over the years(way more than anyone could ever deserve to see) from football fans in general and from Arsenal fans in particular but I might have seen the most stupid tonight

    “Ozil is not a team player”

    I don’t think I need add to that, or explain my view on it.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. latest rumor from Spain about Denis Suarez’s proposed move to Arsenal, is that a deal has been agreed between the clubs – €2M loan fee with a compulsory purchase clause of €20M but Barcelona insisting that Suarez signs a 1 year contract extension to 2021 to cover them over his value if anything prevents completion of the compulsory purchase clause.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. If anyone can gather their positive thoughts and let me have them I’ll put it up as a blog. I really want this site to remain positive but sadly , at this moment, I’m not the one to write such a piece.
    My name is synonymous with this blog and my current demeanor should not be something this site is associated with.
    So, if you can help, let me or Andy have your thoughts.(banned thumbs up thingy)

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Odd indeed. ‘He’s had injuries’, but ‘I want consistency’. Irrelevant. Except when that means he hasn’t tried hard to be back.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. George, I wouldn’t mind crack at that.

    Was thinking about it after my debut the other week that I’d like to try write at least one more thing for here and make it a positive one this time.

    Bit of a race against time though as might not be in best positive shape for a few days if it goes tits up against Chelsea!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Get stuck in Rich – I am out today but back tonight. A nightmare project to take on though. 5th in the PL, still firmly in the Europa and FA Cups. The season is virtually over now.

    Any aspiring authors may also fancy putting their names to the post match for either of our two upcoming ManYoo games, both of which I am away for.

    Come on – you know you want to.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. George and Andy, if you want this, and Rich doesnt mind, I knocked this one up/out:

    For some reason its hard to be positive, that’s what we are told. However, here we gather at Positively Arsenal, why? Because it is a place, where after the immediate emotions of a loss you could play out the week with a perspective that wasn’t only doom and gloom.
    Why not be doomy and gloomy? Mostly because its difficult in daylight for things to be healthy in that mindset. Of course wherever there’s positivity there’s negativity, we cant know one without the other, they rise together.
    But which team has ever won the league by being negative? I don’t mean in their football ,there’s a great deal to discuss by that which we mean negative football, compared to a highly organised defensive team, but by the actual psyche of the team.
    Fans; these days we have the interactive fan, who can express his views beyond the stadium and down at the pub, but now can be a star on social media and tell people what’s what. Mostly they are suffering, suffering through their ignorance of how football is played, (the trick of hindsight), they manipulate and attack when support and more support are needed. Its like telling off kids thinking it will make them turn into heathy adults. Theres a time for all things, but I remain unconvinced by Victoriana and a damn good thrashing.
    They feel in our time of capitalism that they are the customer, they click elsewhere and then get, so why not with Arsenal? Ignorance. Its not such a terrible word, its just the state of things.
    We have been in a week, where after a result that we would have expected to win( maybe that was Emerys real fault, which takes away a fine performance from WHam) that we have had a week of extreme negativity. Why? Because people aren’t getting their orgasm of joy.”I paid, I deserve, where is my joy!?”…well footballs not like that and the DNA of AFC is a funny one.
    For those who are in the pits, all I can say is there were times when it was much worse, Wenger really took the club to another level and made Arsenal attractive to many people. The club has changed and to a degree other things connected with Arsenal have changed. However the idea of supporting hasn’t. Slagging off the club (aftv etc) and spreading lies and fictional articles and other nonsense because you saw it from a certain perspective when they need your help literally doesn’t do any good? They think it does, if they scream hard enough Kroenke will go and a sugar daddy will come in and Messi (types) will save the day until the next slump. Buy now! Pay later! When we pay later the debt is much greater? Take a look at human and their relationship with nature ( it took Mesut to may a lot of people even take a tiny peek)…

    Positivity isn’t really about being on the “happy bus”,it s a key to let us see what’s going on, its not s superior stance, but one that keeps you level headed, it means you can still support your club. In 79 the ManUre fans stuck by their side after losing to Alan Wonderland, and in 89 the Liverpool fans sang the same to their lads. The Spuds bugger off after always losing their semis. I don’t want to be that kind of supporter. A positive stance also shows you are much less fearful, negativity is fear, and for many they are frightened to be a loser. Its such nonsense anyway, there are no winners without losers! Both terms are just daft.
    When we really look at our lives, what do we really know? With the key of positivity and not really knowing, we open to the world of all possibilities, no matter the weather.

    Nobody knows enough to be a pessimist, and there’s people who will always have it much worse than you.

    Up the PA and COYG!

    Liked by 6 people

  33. don’t know what you mean Dave, after all I was informed yesterday that

    “this is the worst period in Arsenal’s history”

    and I think that little statement shows why and what sort of person, is reacting the way so many of them are. There is not one ounce of reality in there thinking. One of my mates would call them Drama Queens, but thats not PR now, but it still fits.

    Liked by 2 people

  34. George I don’t know if Shotta passed on my comments re the podcast you and he did, but I enjoyed it, even if I kept visualizing you as the two old men in the muppets show.

    Liked by 4 people

  35. “But which team has ever won the league by being negative? I don’t mean in their football ,there’s a great deal to discuss by that which we mean negative football, compared to a highly organised defensibut by the actual psyche of the team.”

    Wonderful stuff, thanks Dave.
    wish I’d written that (so it could be forlornly misquoted hehe)


    Liked by 1 person

  36. I think I’m getting very old, after years of Arsenal being linked with the signing of Lilian Thuram, we are now being linked with the singing of his 21 year old son, Marcus, the Guingamp forward who is 21.

    Liked by 4 people

  37. I’m certainly not the one to be writing a positive post after this last week.

    A Q&A sesssion with the vague entities who are apparently now in charge of the club before the Chelsea game, when they couldn’t be Arsenalled to say anything much before, one five minute interview I think.
    It has only been several months since Ivan ran out the front door without his bags and the slow disintegration of his “team”.

    Even Timmy Payton would conduct less grating, less painful, Sports Communications (PR) then this.

    And on reflection seeing as I spent years and years on these pages laughing at anyone who spent more then five pence signing Paulinho (the 7-1 was his peak moment I think), and using this particular player as an example to highlight the quaility and value of Arsenal footballers like Chamberlain, only to now have the individual responsible for spending big money on Paulinho at the club and essentially the person responsible for ushering not just Ramsey the club captain (clearly that was the plan after Koscielny) but possibly Chamberlain too out the door. And I’ve been moaning about the impact and loss from losing Ramsey and Chamberlain, that it would take seasons for the likes of Iwobi to come through and replace, since last summer (before Chambo left), which begs the question what would 29 year old players like Ozil and Aubamayang be thinking. Perhaps Ozil wants to go. Just kidding, he doesn’t! He just wants to get fit. Admit the concerns above the Ozil media stories are reassuringly predicatable, if he’s waning with his back injury then: that is normal even for the greats (please refer to Andy Murray etc.), as normal as the stories from Fleet Street about players with names like Raheem or Mesut.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Spurs and others could and continue to spend top money on mid to top level but not top level talents like Moura.

    Because they have followed a different, highly lubricated, business model.

    Perhaps the plan is to change the business model of the club. There are plenty of (hungry) people who’ve been asking for that for many years. I can even provide the quotes hehe. For example the BBC every year complaining that The Arsenal were difficult to work with for their chums the sporting agencies/paid pundits/salesmen like Danny Murphy etc. My heart bled at the thought of the mate’s of these hacks missing out on all that commission. Such a sad story eh?

    With people commentating that the change in conduct represents a change in values, with George’s concerns from his post at the beginning of the season, I’m just hoping to see some better football from the Arsenal tomorrow. Specifically as a result of having better football players on the football pitch.

    It was a highly enjoyable conversation between George & Shotta. Who could disagree with such amiable genteel considerations?
    I didn’t blame the old gaffer for the bind the club put him in with Chamberlain, over Alexis playing his suitors off against each other, and I don’t blame the new gaffer for his lack of control over what happens with Ramsey or for Ozil’s injuries.

    Liked by 2 people

  39. I also have had a listen to S+G’s podcast and also enjoyed it, one or two things I didnt agree with 100% ( but they are really so pedantic points on my part and not worth taking up). Although I think what I offered as an article at 8.46am in light of the podcast at doesnt fit, so fair enough (also,cheers to fins for the shout out), I realise you wanted something about the side and better light on how they are playing. When youve been through rough times new uncertain times are perhaps easier to deal with? Anyway what can I do, Im wedded to the Arsenal until the end, if there is an end?
    It is important to try and stay pos and fluid as much as though (even if its to save your own ass).
    Weird thing is that if we beat Chelsea andManUre twice then everyone will be happy again. If not, then its going to potentially be more toxic than anything we’ve know in the last 20 plus years. The emotional ups and down are seeming to get bigger as we go on.

    One thing I wondered if the fans dont know whats going on with Emerys set up, do the players themselves? Who knows whats going on behind the scenes though?

    Still some brilliant insights and good conversation. Cheers to George and Shotta.

    Liked by 2 people

  40. It may not look like it, but I am trying to remain positive.

    Liked by 3 people

  41. For my part George, just trying to be a mate to you and the guys on here too. And dont forget you were in the front line on twitter taking on lots of bad thinking day and night for a long time-I couldnt have done that.
    Not easy to steady the ship in strange weathers though. Stay gold mate.
    Up the PA, COYG!

    Liked by 2 people

  42. Interesting to see potch junior come on for the spuds yesterday amittedly after the result was done and dusted. I wonder how long he will stay there especially if the old man leaves

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Rich,
    If Danny Welbeck can’t win a penalty when two players haul him to the ground, or he just obviously gets clumped, think that was two of the obvious four shouts on that day, then an opponent can take a chainsaw to Saka’s legs or make a flying kick into Fabregas’s shins (never completed a season thereafter) and they still won’t get a foul let alone a pen!


    Liked by 2 people

  44. reports in Spain say that Freddie Ljungberg has asked Arsenal to renew Pleguezuelo’s contract, which expires in June

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Ken Gillard was full of praise for our under-18s on Thursday night following their 5-2 win over Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Youth Cup.

    With the scores deadlocked after 90 minutes, we delivered a thrilling attacking performance in extra time, scoring three goals inside 15 minutes.

    We spoke to Gillard after the final whistle – and this is what he said:

    on the team performance…
    I’m delighted for the boys to come through. In the first half we were poor and they moved the ball much better than us. We were poor both on and off the ball and we made some incorrect decisions off the ball especially. But in the second half it was a much improved performance. We tweaked one or two things at half-time and stepped on to them a little bit. We wanted to make it uncomfortable for them and that’s what we did. We were better with the ball as well and that was good, we created a lot of chances. But again, it was touch and go because it was 2-2, they had chances, we had chances, but then going into extra time I was confident because I thought they were tiring a bit and we have more athleticism in the team. I fancied us in extra time, but I’m just delighted for the boys. There were some really good performances out there.

    on extra time…
    Athleticism is one thing, but then there’s the execution and cleverness of the final pass, where they think you’re going to shoot but then you cut it back for the finish. We were athletically, technically good and being mentally strong helps too. We had an all-round good performance and the subs that came on were very good as well. Mazeed Ogungbo, a 16-year-old at the back, played very, very well at the left side of centre half, and then we had quality in the top half of the pitch that can cause any team trouble at this level.

    on some crucial tackles in the second half…
    It was a real team effort. It’s not just the starting team either. We had some lads who are fit who weren’t in the team today that were disappointed not to play, but they were all in the dressing room together delighted to be part of it because it’s a big team effort from all the hard work we’ve done since the beginning of the season. They want to be part of this. They had a taste of it last year and they want to go on this year and keep going as far as we can in the competition.

    on the atmosphere at Meadow Park…
    I was just talking to Arthur who was getting a bit of stick from the Tottenham fans behind the goal, which was great for him, so it’s part of his learning experience playing in front of crowds and playing under lights against a good opposition. It’s all about making them better players so that they can hopefully go on to have a career here at Arsenal.

    on Chelsea and Tottenham already being knocked out of the competition…
    Every game you play is going to be tough in this competition. We’ve got West Brom in the next round I believe and they were a very difficult team to play against earlier this season. We just need to regroup, see how we are and hopefully get one or two injured players back because that will make us a little bit stronger. We just need to focus on the next game and see where we go from there.

    on Bukayo Saka…
    First of all he’s a very good human being. He’s a great person whether he’s playing with the first team, the under-23s or with the under-18s, and I’m sure that if you asked him to play for the under-16s he’d go and do it with a smile on his face! He’s a very good player and a great person with a top attitude. There were some very good performances out there, it was a real team performance and we’re all very, very proud of them.

    Copyright 2019 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 2 people

  46. IslingtonGoonerAFC
    ‏ @Born_a_gooner
    2h2 hours ago

    If you really want to Sell Mesut Ozil, you have to at least make him look attractive to potential buyers.

    Start/play him and don’t make out he didn’t have the quality to play certain games because that’s what the potential buyers see.

    Liked by 2 people

  47. We will play West Brom probably at Boreham Wood in the 5th Round of the FA Youth Cup after they beat QPR 5-1

    Liked by 1 person

  48. I see Emery says we have been playing with 3 CB’s cos we can’t control midfield, might help for control in midfield if he’d pick Ramsey and ozil in the team


  49. Might do – we’ve never lost a game when they’ve played before


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