Decent Arsenal, Good Win

SOCCER Arsenal



Arsenal comfortably progress into the last 16 of the one remaining trophy on offer. That’s what was called for and that’s what we got. Well played lads.

I’m struggling to find the words to best describe the performance, the best I can come up with is mundanely efficient.

An own goal and two of our centerbacks from corners is hardly much to get excited about but it’s nothing to get upset about either.

Let’s be honest, Bate are a poor side and it would have been a massive shock if we hadn’t won. However, although it was not by any means champaign football, it wasn’t bad either.

Standout players for me were Ozil (it’s just a joy to watch him) and Xhaka. I don’t think anyone had a stormer. An honorable mention to Lichsteiner as he performed the way we expected him to when he was signed, but for him and his goal line clearance it could have been an uncomfortable evening. Also felt that Iwobi and Mkhitaryan struggled. I know a lot of people were impressed with Iwobi but I didn’t see it.He looks great running with the ball but ultimately seems to make the wrong decision or at least make the right decision to slowly.

It was great to see and hear  the warm reception that Hleb got when he entered the field of play. The lad has had to commit to another year of football just so he could play against Arsenal these past two games. Lovely player he was.

In summary I was hoping for better but pleased with what we got. On we march.

45 comments on “Decent Arsenal, Good Win

  1. The first leg of the Europa League last 16 tie will apparently be played 5 days after Spurs away and 3 days before Man Utd at home.
    Should be interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. for me Iwobi had a good game, he was involved in most of our better attacks, but you are right in suggesting that he makes the right decisions but too slowly, I think that this moment of hesitation in his play is all down to confidence, he just needs a dollop more confidence and then all would flow, but for him to get this dollop of confidence he needs for his game to flow. A real catch 22 for him and AFC. Maybe a big goal in a big game could do it for him, NLD maybe.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. fins a lot might depend on who we get in the last 16, there will be a few weaker sides, but there will be a few big teams in it too, CFC, Napoli and Valencia for starters.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Iwobi: “We know what Mesut’s like because we see him in training every day. He’s world-class. We scored three goals as a result of him playing. I know if I make a run he has the vision to find me. Hopefully he can keep on playing.” #AFC

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Eds I speculate that there’ll be less rotation that week, but it’s hard to think beyond the next fixture.

    Iwobi’s stats are good for a prospect in only his second or third season as a regular player. If he continues to progress & has luck with injuries he’ll be on the way to some outstanding seasons in the years to come. No need to go over the Rambo and now Ozil madness again it is what it is (mad).

    I enjoyed seeing Monreal play as a LB again. I wonder what difference a return of Kola will make to the play and possibly formation. Haven’t seen much of Southampton, but I consider them along with Bournemouth and also Wolves (after Utd I think) to all be good teams with good players and coaches.
    Tough but hopefully enjoyable football ahead. Plenty of excuses now for any coach to give themselves the best chances for the best results regardless of any other advice or pressure.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. also through are

    Rennes, Inter Milan, Slavia Prague, Dinamo Kiev, Chelsea, Benfica, and FC Krasnodar

    Liked by 1 person

  7. the last 16 teams in the Europa League

    Arsenal, Valencia, Sevilla, Napoli, Dinamo Zagreb, Eintracht Frankfurt, Salzburg, Villareal, Zenit St. Petersburg, Rennes, Inter Milan, Slavia Prague, Dinamo Kiev, Chelsea, Benfica, and FC Krasnodar

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Villareal

    Liked by 1 person

  9. “This is unbelievable… thank you very much for the support. I’ll never forget this – Arsenal is always in my heart!”


    For me Hleb at his best in those years before his move to Barcelona was an incredible player. A unique style in my experience, that effective dribbling style. Something you’ll never forget.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. We had bits of good play. I’m taking it, along with the win obviously.

    Yes Fins! Hleb was some player.
    We had Flamini, Cesc, Rosicky and Hleb all in the same team. What could have been.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. yeah pauln but a fit Diaby was the best of the lot we had back then

    Liked by 4 people

  12. Yeh Ed! I’m convinced he would have gone down as one of the greatest players ever if not for the injuries.

    Credit to Pogba, he always mentions him when talking about players who influenced him.

    Liked by 4 people

  13. With players in and out of the starting XI it’s hardly surprising that we didn’t play with much fluidity, but as we enter the business end of the season I would hope to see less rotation so that the players can get some chemistry going.

    Back from the cold was really impressed with Özil, just his presence on the pitch give those around him an extra boost of confidence. He needs a run of games to get back to his best like everyone else.

    Just do it Emery.

    Liked by 4 people

  14. 3-0.. I think someone here predicted that exact scoreline………….

    Ozil provided a lift to everyone. The players and the crowd. Not sure about the Arsenal higher ups, but needs must. (I also think the demand to play Ozil came from the players)

    Although it was a nice moment, and I don’t dislike Hleb, I don’t get why he received a standing ovation. Surely some polite applause would suffice after the way he left us.

    Not much to say on the game. We were quicker and slicker in attack without being great. Still shaky in defense, although Licht had a good game. Miki was poor. Iwobi was channeling Gervinho as usual. Still, a good result.

    I wonder which ex-player comes to the Emirates next. Giroud with Chelsea? Coquelin and Gabriel with Valencia? Or everyone’s favourite, Santi Cazorla with Villareal.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. if Villareal and Santi Cazorla are in our next draw, as a football man and a gooner, in that order, I wouldn’t know what to do with myself. LOL.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Like the curates egg we were good in places and it was a comfortable enough watch though at times we made heavy weather of it. I feel we are a better team when Lacazette plays but cana lso see how that has a knock on effect if Auba has to play as well (yes, I know he was suspended last night). Picking a side isn’t always that easy when you need to balance attack and defence. Ozil makes it look easy (and I guess that is more than half the problem) and it would be good to see Mikhitaryan back to his best form – he has to be better than he is currently showing. It was good to see Suarez get a bit of a run at the end and he started to show glimpses of quality. I shall be interested to see how that one pans out. Iwobi reminds me a bit of Aaron Ramsey in the season before his outstanding season when he couldn’t stop scoring. It won’t take much for him to suddenly beocme as prolific and that must be the hope, for heaven knows we are impoverished as a side without Aaron.
    On a side note, Giroud was excellent for his goal last night and I felt he got little credit for what at the end seemed a simple little tap in but was preceded by intelligent and gut-busting running. Which reminds me, that without his trademark runs to the near post (and Alexis too) cutbacks from the flanks become predictably easy to defend.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. I just know it’s a bit cliche but that week is a defining week. Obviously the second leg and the remainder of the season are all defining but if we were to win all three everything would look possible.
    The trouble is at this moment in time we aren’t playing well and at the end of that week six place could look guareenteed.
    The staleness we have showed recently is worrying, I am clinging to the fact we still can beat anyone on our day and that might produce some momentum and form.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. WhoScored.com
    ‏Verified account @WhoScored

    Mesut Ozil: Completed the most successful final third passes in a Europa League game last night, with 51 vs BATE Borisov.

    Full match statistics — https://www.whoscored.com/Matches/1343700/Live/Europe-UEFA-Europa-League-2018-2019-Arsenal-BATE-Borisov

    Liked by 3 people

  19. Europa League Draw

    Chelsea V Dinamo Kiev

    Eintracht Frankfurt v Inter Milan

    Dinamo Zagreb v Benfica

    Napoli v Salzburg

    Valencia v Krasnodar

    Sevilla v Slavia Praha

    Arsenal v Rennes

    Zenit v Villarreal

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Does anyone know when our home tie is yet hopefully it’s first, Rennes not a bad draw

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Is our home tie first because we got drawn out first or is that to simples

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Ah excellent home leg first that LL do

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Spuds play Tuesday and manure Wednesday that week so no excuses and their both away.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. ian there is some suggestion that due to CFC also being drawn at home, one of us or them will have to play away in the first leg

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Should be a good draw but just hope no compacency or selection shenanigans. Rennes are good enough not to be taken for granted

    Liked by 2 people

  26. See we play Rennes at their place first after all. Think that’s probably better for us.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Foreverheady.

    I’ve definitely got a preference for Laca. Aubameyang is a fine player also but Laca just has more to his game for me. Can provide enjoyable moments all over the attacking half with bit of classic hold up play, fighting marker, twists and turns, etc.

    Saw something interesting about Auba on a tv prog profiling young players around Europe. Subject was his ex Dortmund teammate Dahoud.

    Dahoud was talking about his initial struggles to adapt to their play and that things started to click for him when he understood/ was made to understand how Auba likes to play whenever possible. Said he likes the ball passed just ahead of him to run onto. Doesn’t really want passes which force him to stop.

    Fits with my impression that optimum to see best of Auba is surely in a counter attacking team where he can regularly use devastating pace to full effect.

    Obvious problem with that is that being able to play a lot on counter is in part always a function of how other teams set up, and we are guaranteed to play many games each season where it isn’t really an option for most part.

    Big teams who want to use counter a lot can only really do so by making it clear over time they are prepared to sit and defend, and see if teams will take the bait and come onto them a bit. Like any system, I suppose, it also takes time, developing existing players for the style and looking to bring in players to fit the style.

    In short, very uncertain for me we will become a team well suited to getting maximum from Auba, and even less certain we should try to become that team.

    Kind of encapsulates where I feel we are at. On individual talent and quality I don’t feel Auba, Laca, Ozil are far behind Mane, Firmino, Salah, but as a coherent three, utilising individual skill and bringing out best of each other, and with a set up in rest of the team which suits them and they suit, think there is a big difference.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. WTF what happened there, nightmare why couldn’t chelski change. That is no way better for us playing away on the middle of spuds and manure especially with us having a day’s less rest.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Could well provide a stern test, Rennes.

    Form very good since new manager took over in December. 18 games: 11 wins; 4 draws; 3 defeats. Excellent victory against Betis team who were praised plenty earlier this year. Presumably they’d been struggling beforehand hence last manager getting sacked.

    Looked through team and only three players I recall watching : Sarr and Niang (from fast powerful Senegal team who were looking v promising at one stage in world cup) and, of course, Ben Arfa.

    Real speedsters, including one who is an excellent dribbler (we don’t like them), plus a mercurial extremely gifted player like Ben Arfa likely to pose significant problems to our defence.

    We’ll have to step up but should be exciting games.

    Liked by 2 people

  30. Seemed a bit sad seeing Hleb, reminded me of how mighty we were under Wenger. Re 2006 and the CL final (the dream beyond dreams)on another day Barca would have lost-for me that was one of the two most painful games ever( that and the 1980 CWC final)-I dont like watching replays of it.
    But my word we were good, in those trophy less but still competing years–look at the team that later beat Barca at the Emirates ( when Arshavin scored) on paper you wouldnt have given them much of a chance? Young Jack played his ass of that day. RVP was a great player when he finally stepped up, goals coming out of no-where. Wenger didnt want him to go, but what could he do? RVP wanted more and we werent going to give it, what to do? ManUre was tough to swallow though and Im no copro eater.
    Yet the fact we constantly sold our great players to Barca or City was tough to deal with-players like Hleb and Song especially, but its a long list when you look at it. Its sad when you look back. But we are where we are. Sometimes I miss Highbury so much though, we sacrificed a lot for our new home. But who could have seen into the future?
    Great to see the big Ö getting some support from the crowd last night, Im sure he lapped that up. Personally I dont agree with the experts at AFTV media, and would like to see him start against Southampton and as many games as possible.
    Lets hope for a mighty run, smashing everyone out of the way for fourth and winning the EL.
    Its been a tough season for everyone really, on and off the pitch– a bit of harmony would go down well now. Next season will see massive changes, players like Rambo going and others too. Sometimes we dont notice how much life is constantly changing, then it really wacks you one and you look around and find yourself in a new landscape, not always picturesque.

    Liked by 4 people

  31. Dave, if you’ve seen any replays, even just a few minutes, of that CL final you are a stronger braver soul then me!

    Liked by 2 people

  32. Watching ESPN’s Bundesliga Weekly programme. Good show and had a few interesting items about latest coaching trends in football.

    Following on from Dortmund’s innovation with that ball room thing a few years back, Hoffenheim have got themselves a large screen on training pitch, where players watch selected clips while manager stands on a raised platform with one of those magic pens and other gizmos at fingertips and talks through relevant points.

    Another clip showed one of Leverkusen’s coaching staff whose job during games is to record and analyse throughout, in particular watching if they maintain their ‘5 second rule’ when possession lost.

    Anyway, Germany seems place where young ‘ideas’ coaches are getting best opportunities, but it seems to me most of them are about systems, and most of those systems conceive of game in quite a mechanical way, typically with lot of emphasis on pressing, counter pressing and counter attacking.

    My concern is that it can take a bit of the joy out of it, mostly because that sort of mechanical outlook is likely to highly prioritise speed and physicality, will almost invariably edge towards a version of defend and counter football, and doesn’t seem to make for a good home for maverick talents or players with unique attacking skillsets.

    Liked by 3 people

  33. Not braver fins, just foolish. Only once did I watch a replay it was truly horrible. No game ever caused so much pain- If Henry had put it away like he did week in week out…then Barca would have shrivelled. Still what a run to the final, some of the greatest moments in the modern era of AFC.

    1980 I seen a few times what with the passing of the years the pain isnt as bad, at the time though…

    Liked by 3 people

  34. Alexandre Lacazette handed a further 2 match ban for elbowing an opponent vs BATE Borisov & will miss both Europa League games vs. Rennes.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Rich,
    Ozil was literally the oil in the engine for the German national team. Which is why the punters over there voted him to be the national team’s best player six years in a row.

    You can’t teach that rare ability and skill to find and run into the space which was so crucial ahead of 2014 Germany’s talented yet flatter midfield three, alongside two less creative goal scorers. Ozil is actually famous for running forwards into space off the ball. Which would make excessive demands upon him to run the other way akin to asking a goalkeeper to play as your striker etc. not an appealing idea in five a side Football but…

    Liked by 1 person

  36. < Not an appalling idea in five a side Football but less appealing in…

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Funny you should mention Ozil’s movement Fins because that is what I noticed last night. Not only is he constantly on the move, he also draws defenders towards him, then with his vision and ability to release the ball quickly, he creates even more space for others. Previously I had noticed how static the team had become, so that was a welcome sight. However, you could also see that he was a bit rusty and there were a few breakdowns in on field communication, but hopefully if the manager now feels he has a place in the team, we’ll see more of that.

    Liked by 3 people

  38. CFC two window transfer ban, if only they had an internal solution

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Looks like the Spanishness will be, as suspected, stepped up in the summer with reports on Monchi, though this could be bad news for anyone who wants to see the back of Emery.
    Hopefully, Bellerin will recover well and feel even more at home. Guess the Spanish aren’t always the worst of footballing nations.
    And maybe the food sold by our catering franchises will take on a different influence from that part of the world, which wouldn’t be a bad thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Nice example in West Ham game of thing I was wondering about with VAR apparently only being allowed to result in reds, if any card.

    Surely you couldn’t let Hernandez get away without a yellow after reviewing, and disallowing, his handball for goal? Ditto if review shows a big ole dive in box?

    Maybe there’s an exception and you can show yellow if it’s part of a penalty review. Otamendi was booked other day for his handball after all.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. How’s this for positive thinking? Next week this time we could be one point behind that lot.

    Liked by 2 people

  42. Shame about Arsenal women, brave effort though.

    Spuds mess up.

    Liked by 2 people

  43. Arsenal u18’s 3-1 Southampton U18’s
    Coyle, Balogun and McGuinness with our goals to keep us top of the table

    Jeorge Bird@jeorgebird
    6h6 hours ago

    Arsenal U18s named an entire matchday squad of English players today, with Greenwood the only one who isn’t a Hale End product.

    Arsenal U18 v Southampton: T. Smith; Daley-Campbell, McGuinness, Clarke, Swanson; M. Smith, Cottrell; Greenwood, John-Jules, Coyle; Balogun. Subs: Okonkwo, Dennis, Matthews, Alebiousu, Flaherty.

    Liked by 1 person

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