64 Comments

Arsenal give us a night to forget

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*People of a sensitive nature should look away now as this blog may contain scenes of graphic violence and bad language *

Good evening positive people! Well I say good evening, but it’s hardly that. That my good friends was a poor result.

It all started so swimmingly well with Iwobi crossing in a ball to Aubameyang, who was some 5 yards out from goal, that was so far away from him it when in the far corner. Happy days. For the next 30 minutes or so we looked in complete control. Ozil playing some cute ball, one of which put Aubameyang clean through for a one on one, only for him to be wrongly flagged offside. It looked like it would be an easy night with a comfortable result, and then……………………….

Papa , with two yellow cards in seven minutes was given his marching orders. Personally I think the second card was a rank bad decision, he looked to have been fouled rather than committed a foul. Regardless, we were down to ten men and under pressure because form the resulting free kick they scored when the ball rebounded off the wall and was smashed home. We were under pressure from then until half time, a chance for us to regroup and make necessary changes.

Then the oddness started. We made no changes and Mikhitaryan continued at right back. The switch of play to that side was causing us all sorts of problems.

When the change came it was more oddness. Iwobi, who had been having a good game , was replaced by Guendouzi, who proceeded to be rather poor. He was being pulled out of position, bypassed, giving the ball away and jogging back into position. Poor.

Then Ozil, another of our better performers was replaced by Ramsey. A like for like that did nothing to fix the obvious problems on the falk, particularly the right side. Mesut was still creating and also helping out tracking back.

Now, it gets even odder , the next change is to take off Aubameyang and replace him with Sead. Immediately meaning we had no threat in behind or on the break.

I thought Mikhtaryan and Aubameyang were poor all evening and as I’ve said, young Matteo had a stinker. The defending was poor and our shape was weird. The two more goals they scored after the break were the least they could have expected.

Not one of Emery’s best nights, for me he got it all wrong after the sending off.

So we go into the home leg two goals behind. A big ask but not by any means an impossible task. However, we will have to be much much better.

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64 comments on “Arsenal give us a night to forget

  1. one of those really self inflicted defeats

    took lead, and cruising, but that was the problem, far too many of the players were cruising, almost going through the motions, Aubameyang was having a stinker, just that tad off his game, taking that second or two too long to make up his mind, taking an extra tough, etc. Xhaka and Papa were committing bookable fouls, in the most part, fouls that did not actually need to be made. For example on the sending off, Sokratis had no need what so ever to get tangled up with the guy at all, the ball was beating both of them out of play.

    Their goal, lame or tame freekick into our wall, but then Xhaka, Aubameyang and I think it was Mustafi all turned their backs on the follow up shot, yes it was a thunderous shot, that left Cech with no chance, but any one of the 3 back turners could if brave enough blocked the shot.

    Second goal, Guendouzi was in no hurry out to the byline to get in a block, no he made a token effort at best, cross comes in, Monreal half arsed effort to block it seen it spin past Cech.

    And the best for last, goal number 3, what can be said, we had a throw 80 yards from our goal with only a few minutes left, down to ten men, just the one goal in it, and it was real keystone cops stuff, Monreal losing out and has a little hissy fit, with not a thought about getting back to defend, our DM, Torreira was near the middle of their area, Emery’s golden boy, Guendouzi was actually goal side of Sarr when we lost possession, but he compounded his already poor game, by just about breaking into a jog to get back, so much so that Ramsey who was 30 yards further forward actually ended up ten yards goal side of him as Sarr had a free header to make it 3-1. Guendouzi’s effort, or lack of effort, brought back bad memories of Denilson at his worst, (v Man Utd), someone suggested that our Matteo played tonight like a guy who though he had made it and was above these French opponents.

    Tonight was one of those displays from PEA where you find yourself asking if he aint scoring what does he actually contribute to our play.

    we will face utd on Sunday, and then go into the second leg without Sokratis and Lacazette.

    time for the team to step up, and time for Emery to step up.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Chelsea and Napoli look well on their way to the next round, both won 3-0

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Former Gunner Emmanuel Frimpong has announced his retirement from football at the age of 27.

    In a statement this evening, the midfielder revealed persistent knee problems have brought about the decision to step away from the game.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well I thought we were royally done over by the ref listening to the crowd etc. We will smash them next week.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. A real poor performance after the red card, a failure to adjust. Seemed to spread through much of the team, which is worrying. Some of them looked leggy which did not help.thought the bookings leading to the red were a little soft, but we seem to get a few of those
    We seem susceptible to pace too often, and think we badly miss Bellerin for starters. But suspect we will need proper right backs in the next couple of games, however reluctant emery seems to be to pick them
    We are not out of it, especially with our home form, but need to really pick up on that performance to avoid what would ultimately, be a very inauspicious exit, which would surely raise unhelpful questions
    Come on Arsenal, you are better than this!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. As the season progresses I am getting more and more concerned about ue.

    I simply do accept that he needs time to get his own players in.

    Since when does a new manager replace all or most of the players when he takes over.

    With his dossiers about each player that so impressed his interviewers he should have been able to assess the players and utilise thrir strengths..

    He has already brought in 4 players, who mostly play each game so what more does he need?

    The increasingly shambolic performances especially away from home indicate a difficultyi in marshalling the considerable resources in players he has at his disposal.

    I anticipate worse as we approach the end of the season

    Liked by 1 person

  7. There were plenty of questions for Unai Emery following our 3-1 defeat in Rennes on Thursday night.

    From red card discussion, to his tactical selections and use of substitutions, it all came up in Unai’s post-match press conference.

    Here is the transcript of what he said:

    On being in control until the red card…
    Good evening. Yes, more than we wanted. The first 40 minutes I think we controlled, we scored and we didn’t concede good chances to them. But after this red card, it’s different. It’s more than we wanted and I think we can do better. But the result is for the first match and for the first 90 minutes. 3-1 is hard for us, but we are going to start the next match, next week with 11 against 11 and with the same respect we have had in the first half, the first 40 minutes. We are going to do that at home against them. But we need to also change our performance and I have the confidence with our players, with our supporters helping us to create one big atmosphere to give us a good spirit against them to comeback.

    On why he played Mkhitaryan at right-back rather than Maitland-Niles…
    Well, first and mostly, because we were coming after the last match in Southampton with a very big performance like this full-back. And after this red card, first I wanted to keep the positioning with the players because in the second half we needed fresh players to help more in offensive moments, to take chances, to take options. We really didn’t create a lot of chances to score the second goal, but I think Micki worked very well and with a good performance. I think there is no problem with Micki, and for example, his 40 or 50 minutes playing like a right-back, he played well.

    On being asked to clarify why he didn’t use Maitland-Niles…
    Because we only had three changes and we needed to decide what were these changes. Micki, I think, is playing well. If he was not playing well then maybe we could think to do this change.

    On if he thinks that Sokratis deserved his red card…
    I think we changed more than we want, but a red card can come. Two yellow cards and it’s the referee’s decision. After, I think we must learn to play – when it’s coming like today – with one less player on the pitch. Not a good experience today, because we couldn’t do our work in difficult moments, in difficult minutes, with one less player, like we wanted. I think we can do better. I am positive in the first 40 minutes because I think, with respect to them, we imposed our gameplay in these moments. We can maybe score a second goal because we deserved to, but after it is really very different in the match. I cannot say to Sokratis because he has very good commitment, he has very good behaviour and he received two yellow cards in two actions of playing. But we are going to think, for the next week, we are going to start 11 against 11, without Sokratis and without Lacazette, but we have players. Like the first 40 minutes, we can do it with our supporters also, to have the possibility to come back. But we know this result is not good. It is bad and it is going to be tough for us. But we need to do with focus and with our players, this possibility to come back.

    On Lacazette, Torreira and Sokratis all being sent off in recent weeks and if that suggests a discipline issue…
    No. I think it’s not easy.

    On if he’s not concerned by three red cards in quick succession…
    We can analyse these three red cards individually.

    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

  8. When emery just arrived, we normally start our build up from the back. It was that important at the time that we sometimes concede possession in dangerous areas and on few occasion cech almost scored own goal. But unai persisted, he insisted that it was the way he likes his team to play. But what do we see now? Hoofing and long balls from the keepers. What’s your style? Be consistent for a start.
    Again when he newly hired we were told he has such a full knowledge of all our players, their strength and weaknesses and how to make them better. If that is the case,why is he asking mesut to do what he hasn’t been doing from his youth? Why is only one of his five captains making the starting eleven and most importantly why are the players worse than they used to be. Did he just went and read about every player just to get the job ahead of those who truly understand the players and know the club. Is this a fraud on us all? The results for the rest of the season will provide this.

    But one thing is certain, if a manager like arsene Wenger who has given everything including his family to get us this far is sacked, then whoever succeeds him should do better than what we are seeing. And if at the end of the season, the results isn’t better than wenger’s worst season, someone should answer for that.
    At the moment we lose games we usually win and in manners we were not used to. We just can’t keep possession and our play is pretty poor.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. A backwards step, clearly, but hardly an insurmountable one, with 2-0 at home the required remedy.

    Okay, clean sheet remarks aside, 3-1 still within our reach. Okay, Auba’s form is shot to pieces but presumably Lacca will be our main main next week? Or is he suspended? Hard to keep track and to be honest, it’s been that kind of season.

    The problem facing Arsenal fans attempting to size up Emery is in deciding whether this is a one step forward/two steps back kind of season or a two step forward and one step back one.

    Pretty sure we’ve had both at different points. The possibility of it being seen as a decent or a (relatively) disastrous season remains, and last night’s muddy performance didn’t make anything clearer.

    I would however suggest the industrial run out at Wembley against the draw-celebrating Spuds combined with a card-happy, crowd-pleasing ‘homer’ of a ref yesterday wouldn’t have helped anyone.

    Let’s hope the hangover clears swiftly and we clean up against manure.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Was hoping to see Miki play as an 8 at sometime this season, but of course as the season progressed we understand that unlikely with not even Ramsey picked as an 8, so I wasn’t expecting to see him asked to play as a no.2!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. The variation between the two football codes, especially when the codes themselves are so variable, can catch the players out and my impression was that Papa forgot he was playing a classic European Away tie in a game of association football and not the pgmo Rules (Ok?) sub-variable varient.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. < variant

    Liked by 1 person

  13. ‘a card-happy, crowd-pleasing ‘homer’ of a ref’ accurately sums up what I thought about him. Honestly, Im getting sick to death of seeing any number of thundering and aggressive late-chalenges go unpunished before yellow is produced for the first hint of a trangression, however soft it may be, from us. And should that then be accompanied by a sending off and a jammy goal from the resultant phantom free-kick then it is easy to see how what might have been a decent performance can quickly turn sour.

    Yes – I can see we were naive in the second half, and I can see how it is easy to blame players or managers for that – but I think few things upset professionals more than a sense that the pitch is tilted.

    Liked by 4 people

  14. “…but I think few things upset professionals more than a sense that the pitch is tilted.”

    Arsenal fans have, objectively, been able to make this observation with frequency since the Life of Riley began.

    UEFA refs aren’t as good at the tilting craft as others. Braga Away was actually comical, and predictable they had a stadium to pay for (who else has “overrun” on their build by a smooth billion…?). The most recent Barca home leg. The red card for kicking a ball away. Screamingly obvious as they say.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I adored AW but felt in the end that it was time for him to go, partly because of the rift in the fan base, partly because I felt the constant negative press surrounding him was detrimental to all aspects of the club, but mainly because I felt that there was a chance the officiating would become more even-handed when he was gone.
    Having said that, I also felt the biggest challenge any new manager would face was in coming to terms with the way referees behaved towards us.

    And I think that at the moment Unai Emery is only just beginning to realise how steep that challenge will be.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Apprentice Taylor has the lack of craft to make it as a UEFA ref.

    Which is why when compared to Masters Mike & Mike and long term heir Michael (or Mike as he likes to be known!) he will always remain just an apprentice (Mark simply had the wrong the name to get the top job, so he quit to walk in Don Revie’s disgraced footsteps…)

    In case you’re wondering: Yes, I might be taking the Michael.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Listening to radio commentary (again) I assumed I’d misheard Mky’s defensive repositioning and fair play to the fella in just getting on with it. It did somewhat expose squad weaknesses, no doubt all down to injuries, of course.

    I know we are forbidden from saying anything about the referees (or if we do, keep it short), but I’ve watched too many games where a side (not just AFC) has had the wind blown out of their sails by seemingly ‘unbalanced’ performances by the cu – sorry, men in black. Yesterday’s match really was a game of two halves and no doubt from the commentary I listened to, we were responsible for a least part of our own downfall. But the naivety of the officials in buying everything on offer from Rennes is hugely disappointing, especially for games at this level. It has to have an effect on those on the receiving end.

    All we can hope for now is a rebalancing exercise next week.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Well Tim, next up is Moss, who is physically unfit by most football fans account to even be on the pitch, honestly I’ve never heard so many people laugh at an official in aground for being obviously unfit.

    An official who you once observed and remarked upon as a cheat in a pre-season friendly takes the whistle for the biggest game of the season. I hope the big cameras help him to behave himself but it’s not a cup final and chances are he’ll spray the magic spray back into his own face. Again. Seems like a nice man, but I wouldn’t let him referee a game of tiddlywinks.

    Football fans let alone Arsenal fans deserve better.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Four players turning their back for the first goal and the third in the 87th minute was comical from a team down to 10 men in a two legged match where your expected to win the second leg.
    Iwobi wasn’t having a good game, again he looks good going forward but that’s only half the game. AC pointed out in the Breakdown the numerous times he let midfield runners slip in behind and he was up to the same trick again last night. Unfortunately his mind wanders when he hasn’t got the ball. After saying that I would of taken Auba off early. I understand ppl saying you need to play him through his bad patch but last night wasn’t the time. Like you say the subs and formation was strange with both Matteo and Lucas playing very high. I thought Unai was a coach who knew how to make a team solid if needed, well on last night’s evidence it’s very much doubtful. Obviously last weekend game goes against that but it is worrying just the same.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Bellerin, Lichtsteiner, Jenkinson, Maitland-Niles, Mustafi and now Mkhitaryan have all played right back for us this season.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Jeorge Bird
    ‏ @jeorgebird
    15m15 minutes ago

    Arsenal 1 Chelsea 0. Balogun, who just cannot stop scoring, with the goal.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Jeorge Bird
    ‏ @jeorgebird
    1h1 hour ago

    Arsenal U18 v Chelsea: T. Smith; Daley-Campbell, McGuinness, Clarke, Swanson; M. Smith, Cottrell; Greenwood, John-Jules, Coyle; Balogun.

    Subs: Okonkwo, Dennis, Ogungbo, Azeez, Musah.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Still feel the same. All going pretty well until the red where the ref bought some incredibly sneaky play from their player (who again tried it on for a pen 2nd half)

    Huge dose of bad luck for the free kick immediately after in dangerous position to be a poor one before being promptly smashed home on rebound.

    2nd half we weren’t coping well at all with their extra man up until they scored. probably one of the worst games you could pick to go down to ten given how fired up and well rested opposition were, but it also looked like our lack of a culture of strong defence hurt us.

    Combine the two and they were all over us, pretty much. But then, they ran out of steam, or we regrouped or something, and the threat died down considerably. Wasn’t pretty but I was tentatively preparing to congratulate us on the good sense and maturity of accepting the 2-1 ahead of return leg.

    But then…well we all know what happened. excellently executed counter, especially final ball, but how on earth did it come about? (I’ve not rewatched it so don’t know exact details, only that we left ourselves open to be ripped up on counter)

    I guess the answer is the players sensed they just might be able to rescue a very decent result in the circumstances from a not good but not awful one. I genuinely don’t know where those decisions come from, i.e if it is all just instincts. With ultra defensive coaches I can imagine it being drilled into players what to do. With others I don’t know.

    Anyway, there were hints in the minutes beforehand maybe a chance could arrive, so evidently a number of players pushed high up, and there it was- a terrible blow in the circumstances; echoes of the Atletico goal at Emirates or Monaco’s third just after the Ox scored.

    Not good but not awful night became a pretty damn bad one.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Jeorge Bird
    ‏ @jeorgebird
    9m9 minutes ago

    HT. Arsenal 1 Chelsea 0.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Jeorge Bird
    ‏ @jeorgebird
    9m9 minutes ago

    Arsenal 2 Chelsea 0. John-Jules scores. Swanson with the assist.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Jeorge Bird
    ‏ @jeorgebird
    36m36 minutes ago

    Arsenal 3 Chelsea 0. Greenwood scores, with Balogun setting him up. Arsenal have been in superb form in the league recently.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Jeorge Bird
    ‏ @jeorgebird
    2m2 minutes ago

    FT. Arsenal 3 Chelsea 0. Arsenal four points ahead of closest challengers Tottenham at top of table but their rivals have two games in hand. Ken Gillard’s side have now won their last seven league games in a row.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Monchi has left his role at Roma, and is expected to become Arsenal’s new director of football, he has worked with Emery in the past

    Cagiago expected to be AFC’s replacement for Mislintat

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Chuffed with u18 result. On current form, their game with Spurs will be decisive. Should they finish top of league will face a play off with winners of North league, with a place in Uefa Youth League available for winner.

    Liked by 2 people

  30. Ed, in 2006 on our route to the CL we had 7 left backs

    Liked by 2 people

  31. U-16s reach Premier League Cup final
    Aidan Small 08 Mar 2019
    Yunus Musah

    We have reached the final of the Premier League U-16 Cup – and you can watch the boys for free at Meadow Park.

    We’ve been in impressive form throughout the competition, winning four of our five outings and scoring 14 goals along the way.

    We kicked off the group stage with a 4-2 with over Everton thanks to a Yunus Musah double, before slipping to a narrow 5-4 defeat against Fulham.

    Luke Plange and Musah then went on to score in a 2-1 win over West Brom, ensuring that we progressed to the quarter-finals, where Kido Taylor-Hart scored the game’s only goal against Liverpool.

    Through to the semi-finals, Levi Laing, Musah and Taylor-Hart all struck against Brighton to secure a 3-1 win on the road – and book our place in the final against Chelsea.

    The game will be played as under…

    Arsenal v Chelsea
    Friday, March 15
    Kick-off: 7pm (UK time)
    Meadow Park, Boreham Wood FC
    Ticketing: Free entry

    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

  32. Looks like we will be seeing some Monchi business this summer, but if this article is correct, I do wonder how long he will be around

    https://mobile.twitter.com/MrArsenicTM/status/1103973184892821504

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Would be strange if City win the quadruple, then it gets completely discredited, or even worse for them depending on what the Uk and European football authorities find. They might even lose their estimate manager!
    Of course I will not hold my breath on football authorities successfully taking on a petro state , of course they might just be paying lip service to a news article and complaints within the game, unless they really have something concrete to go on.
    I suspect there are now some powerful forces in the English game campaigning behind the scenes against what City get away with, possibly their neighbours, maybe the teams run by American owners who are into club doping to a slightly lesser degree, or in our case, not at all.
    But how embarrassing for the authorities would it be if they were found to let a transparently club win the lot, after all, this isn’t Spain, or France, or is it.
    Might all be a damp squib, or might be a genuine opportunity for a level playing field , one that lets Utd thrive once more on their earned income. Will do Mike Riley’s pension no harm at all .

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Mandy

    According to article I read on it, Liverpool and Palace owners prominent in complaining. Said elsewhere something about six clubs possibly complaining.

    Painted it as an American thing due to those involved here mostly all own or involved with American sports franchises and used to that way-salary caps, restrictions etc- of operating.

    Feck knows. Have to suspect it is mostly exercise in appearing to do something as a move to take heat out of situation, at least where prem is concerned.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Amused by idea of how quick Pep would be out the door, though, if ever the taps were turned off for any length of time.

    His comments really weak on the subject of any financial misdeeds by City- ‘they’re just jealous’, ‘desperately looking for a reason to have a go at us’, to paraphrase.

    All evading the issue of if there even could be such a thing as massively breaching rules or whether such rules should exist. Par for the course and maybe not much else he can do in circumstances, but still weak stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Oh F*ck, It’s a Penalty: Analyzing a Week of VAR: Our friend Rich has written a honest, authentic reaction to VAR at https://uniteforvar.com/?p=1820

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Yes Rich , I read something somewhere along those lines.
    But also suspect a club far more powerful could be complaining behind the scenes, but one that wouldn’t want to be seen as doing so in public for being a bit churlish against a successful neighbouring club , just a hunch
    If Utd are complaining, they probably have more power and influence than the others put together, as we have seen to our cost over the years, and might see again tomorrow

    Liked by 1 person

  38. I am no mathematician but from mostly bitter experience I now rely on the unbiased data in forming my beliefs and opinions. Inevitably there is a reversion to the mean whether it be a good or bad team. We had the unique experience of consistently top quality results in 20 out of 22 years. You do not consistently remain in the top-4 for so many years, while selling your best players as a deliberate policy, without being a genius. This 1st year of Unai Emery is already proving how difficult it is to get back to the top-top level. Let me leave it at that until more evidence becomes available.

    Liked by 2 people

  39. Shotta

    I wanted to leave an online record here last summer, before events unfolded, of how high an achievement winning three cups in four years whilst coming second etc was, and I think and hope that at least our dear friend “gf60” appreciated the effort.

    Because the only two other occasions where a team matched that record were the Invincibles and Arsene’s early teams alongside that first Gazcorp squad before The UEA rolled up to undercut them and but up half the Arsenal squad. So only two amazing all time great squads had matched the feat since the Second World War.

    The Footballing Idiots who led the Arsenal fans into this Karmic nightmare are showing their true colours now as they desperately try to argue a worse season then last will be better then last (unless we go on to win the Europa…which is a big ask at this moment!).
    War is Peace. Etc.

    Tim Stillman came down off his fence finally and has now articulated what he couldn’t when we asked him. He prefers “direct” football. As in he was lampooned by Hunter and Shotta long long ago.

    Lets examine his footballs:
    this Barcelona football he is critical of?

    Spain won the WC with that Barca team in 2010. Nine as in 9 years ago.
    Germany won the WC in 2014 with Ozil feeding the very direct Muller and other variable targetman.
    France just won the WC with a targetman who didn’t score a goal! Bit like 1998…

    The same targetman who just picked up four fa cups in five years, three of them with the Gunners whilst playing alongside…Ozil.

    Can you all join the dots? Ozil to Giroud.

    If we can they why not a blinkered idiot?

    It’s not hard to see where Arsenal have been in the football scale. The football that these Football Idiots are currently being critical of was left behind by the Football coaches about five odd years ago. The game moves and develops quickly, to quickly for these lame brains.

    These people have lead their listeners into a dark smelly place.
    Then again I don’t think highly of people who will believe any old nasty smears such as: “poor senile defensive coaching” in order to spite their own faces.

    Liked by 3 people

  40. Late to the party, or wake, but some thoughts on the game.

    I liked our starting lineup. In the attacking sense at least. And for a while it seemed to be paying off. We should have been up by 2 or 3.

    The ref was being influenced by the vocal French crowd. I knew we’d have some big decision go against us. Both of Sokratis’ yellow cards were soft at most.

    When we conceded, we had some problems dealing with things mentally. Some will say this is like it was under Wenger. I disagree. This happened under Wenger after constantly being robbed by refs in a more blatant fashion. There was no cause to give up.

    Still, was happy with Miki at RB. Showed ambition and no changes at halftime.

    Also showed, a lack of options. Where was Jenkinson? Why was Mavropanos left out of the squad entirely?

    But ok.. 1-1. Then we made some silly mistakes, like Xhaka giving up the ball for it to become 2-1 and Mustafi too (only for Cech to save)

    But this is where the manager lost it for me. Took off Iwobi for Guendouzi – a player not exactly known to track back or provide great ball security. Worse, he took off the one guy who was giving us some control over possession. Even creating a chance or two. Ramsey should have been brought on to play with Ozil, not instead of. His willing running both ways would have meant we had greater security and greater support for Auba. It just seemed to me Emery’s natural propensity for caution won out and he decided to sub off attack minded players and hope that’ll automatically shore us up.

    Now we have a mountain to climb. We can still do it, but I am now not confident we will. Especially without Lacazette and now Sokratis too. But who knows? Maybe we beat ManU, carry the confidence from that game and destroy Rennes.

    Liked by 3 people

  41. shard on Sokratis, he got away with taking out a forward with his knee, should have been a yellow at the very least. Sokratis was arguing with the ref the entire first half, it was never going to end well. If Mustafi had put in the same performance it would have broken the internet.

    Liked by 2 people

  42. We at Positively Arsenal have often said we will never undermine the manager while he is managing and the players while they are playing. But as Fins observed it is remarkable the Orwellian transformation of the good and great Arsenal bloggers and podcasters. Last two years they said with vehemence that coming 5th and 6th was all on the manager. Wenger was past his sell by date, outlived his time, no longer up to it, etc. The squad was great; all it needed was one or two additions and a brand new manager to propel us to winning the Premier League and greatness in Europe. Now the tune has changed:
    – The squad is no longer great and needs to be rebuilt in the words Stillman and 7am Kickoff.
    – The manager needs time (3 xfer windows) to rebuild the squad, something Wenger performed in his last 2 years but totally missed by the revisionists.
    At a time when the self evident policy of the Kroenkes is to keep down wages I for one am not optimistic that we have a management team that is anywhere up to bringing us back to the top-4.
    Time will tell.

    Liked by 3 people

  43. By the way, show some love for Rich at UniteForVAR by leaving a comment. In my opinion he did a damn good job of reviewing the week in VAR.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Spuds lose. Nice.

    Liked by 2 people

  45. Cheers Shotta. Appreciate that.

    If by some miracle any of you aren’t aware already, Spurs lost. Even if you are full aware it’s worth mentioning again. Spurs lost.

    Liked by 3 people

  46. so once again when things not going their way spurs players get nasty and the ref lets them away with it, for the second time in recent weeks they avoid a red card for a head butt, disgraceful

    spurs in fact really should have ended the game with 9 men, they had a last man foul only getting a yellow, when it should have been a red, thankfully Southampton scored the freekick to win the game.

    spurs 1 pt from last 4 games, no talk of crisis in the media, not for their War Hero’s

    Liked by 2 people

  47. how the fuck did Everton’s ENGLAND goalie Jordan Pickford not get sent off for hauling down the forward today, no attempt to play the ball at all.

    Liked by 1 person

  48. Shard, I couldn’t tell on Sokratis first one. Didn’t see contact but there may have been. On 2nd their guy did an absolute number on him. Initiated contact with a bump, probably entwined arm first, then down in a manner that had little to do with contact.

    Alas, I figure nearly all refs would buy it in that situation, and only the very best would have the balls even with VAR to make the correct call there. You’d like to think it entered refs mind during the game or after what the player in question, Sarr, was all about when he tried to con his way to a pen from Kos.

    Maybe it could help him in future. With European refs I at least hold a little hope in that regard.

    Liked by 1 person

  49. Ed, on Spurs, just posted this on Shotta’s site.

    ‘Moussa Sissoko has just aimed a headbutt at Nathan Redmond. Kevin Friend having words and it’s a yellow card for both. Redmond pushed his opponent, but Sissoko looks like a lucky man there.’

    From BBC match updates. Wonder what stage anyone from media would add up the cumulative luck let alone dare consider it goes beyond mere luck? 4th week in a row they escape a sending off? 5th? 6th?

    Liked by 1 person

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