Poo……………r Old Arsenal


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I was going to leave this review until tomorrow, because I didn’t want to do it whilst angry, but I realised I’m not angry, just very disappointed. So here we go………….

That was very poo……………..r, I joke, it was a bit worse than poo, it was stinking diarrhea.

When I saw the team and the first two substitutions at half time, I though, fair enough. I can’t fault the manager today. His resources were limited. I had no intentions of being critical of Emery, then I started to think (always a dangerous thing for me to start) and I thought wait, actually he’s had a mare.

Five at the back can work well, we’ve seen it work well, but it needs two players in center midfield that can keep the ball and progress it through midfield. Namely Xhaka and Ramsey,but they were both unavailable to start. ElNeny and Guendouzi just can’t do that.

Now of course I am entering the realms of hindsight management. The easiest of tasks. Still, bollocks to it.

We should have gone with 4 at the back and put an extra man in midfield.Poor Matteo had an awful game. ElNeny did ok so I was surprised that he was substituted rather than the youngster. I would have left them both on, brought Ramsey in to help them out and replaced Mkhitaryan , who was having a worse time than Matteo, with Aubameyang . Gone 4 3 1 2.

Finally Emery brought on Iwobi, who along with the Ramsey substitution, did make a marginal improvement, but Ozil was the last person he should have replaced. Mesut, while not creating much (due to the set up IMO) was playing well. I mean , if you need a goal, why take of the best player and the man most likely to fashion an opening?

This is the first time in over 5 years of this blog that I have written a blog suggesting what should have been done. Perhaps doing what I suggest would have made no difference, but lets be honest, it couldn’t have been worse.

I’m presently watching the game between Wolves and Watford, and if I’m honest, I don’t fancy our chances at their grounds. It may turn out a very unhappy end to the season.



49 comments on “Poo……………r Old Arsenal

  1. Deeply, deeply frustrating.

    I can see what Emery is trying to do, always playing out of the back, encouraging the opposition to come on to us and then hitting them on the break. That’s the theory. But today we hardly ever successfully transitioned from defence to attack, probably for reasons covered by Disappointed George from Blackburn.

    Can’t really be bothered with the ins and outs of the team selection, it’s just so much hindsight, at the end of the day. Yet I have to agree with DG from B, the only surprise greater than watching Ozil get subbed was the sight of Aaron on the bench at kick off.

    Is he resting players for Thursday? Really?

    Ah well, it’s the kind of result that can ruin weekends, so thank God it’s Sunday night already.

    PS Just noticed Wolves have handed the FA Cup to City – unbelievable, George.

    I’m off to bed.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Very poor, what ever the reasons. Expecting much better next time out. Reinforcing a long held conviction that Xhaka is a very important player under Emerys systems, possibly a future club captain?
    Only Leno emerged from that with much credit, Ramsey at least had a go.
    Disappointed, yes, but still almost as angry as those Brexity people you see on Question Time

    Liked by 2 people

  3. lethargic was how the team played, and lethargic is how myself and it seems many others are reacting to the result, we have become used to the team looking like they have no energy, and worse still, no idea, away from home. Once the PGMOL game manger makes it clear that our opponents will get favored treatment out boys just seem to accept it and shuffle back into their shells. Some would say we should meet fire with fire, but as we seen today, we are not allowed to do that, our boys still get booked for far less fouls than our opponents, look at Gomez today, how many fouls, how many leaving the foot in till he got booked, contrast that with any of our players. Today is not a one off, not even a one hundred off. Its the norm. At home our crowd, though not the loudest, will be woken by PGMOL game managers acting like we seen them today, and will get on to them, and not only that, the commentators react to it, and it will be noted, and as we know, the one thing PGMOL game managers don’t like it is to be noted by the TV lot, Mike Riley don’t want game management to be put under the microscope, now does he.

    Anyway, we go from 11 BPL wins in a row at home, to one BPL away win in just over 4 months, same players, same formations(although I do think Emery sets up far too timidly away from home), but it does seem we have just too many players who can’t over come the extra niggle we face away from home.
    With Watford, Leicester, Wolves and Burnley all to face away I do think we may be in big trouble in our quest to get top 4 and certainly top 3. PGMOL game managers are not keen on us as they are with manU and spurs, so Europa league may be key for us in our bid for CL next season, but Napoli are up next and Chelsea are still in it, and we still have couple of spanish sides there too, its far from a gimme that we will win it.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I couldn’t understand how high up the pitch we were playing right from the off irrespective of personnel. I know before the game Unai was saying we need to play like we’re at home but I thought he meant confidence not letting the other side sit, be compact and counter us.
    Obviously the goal shouldn’t of counted and that goal shaped the game, Mr friend game most things to the toffees and going through the back of our players didn’t seem to be a problem.
    However you have to create chances to score goals and you have to score goals to win games and we created so little today that was the most disappointing of all.
    Suspensions and injuries are racking up and the end of the season looks to be very difficult.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Can’t disagree with any of that George,we can beat anyone at home but lose to anyone away if you know what I mean.

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  6. I’m preoccupied with trying to think of ways we can make it work away from home.

    We’ve surely tried almost every combination and tactic in the book last couple of years and I can’t remember us looking like we’d cracked it at any point. Or if we did produce something better then the same thing would fail soon after.

    Best we can say for any preferred formation or approach if attack-minded is probably that we may as well, as more defensive approaches are so unconvincing.

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  7. Anyway, what could the solution be to make us strong on the road again. The City route is an extremely talented set of skilful midfielders, the unique Fernandinho tying it together, fast extremely talented widemen, a master finisher, a defence which has height, power and speed to cover rare breaks. In other words, forget it.

    Liverpool’s is a more ordinary workman like midfield, fast full backs who cross well, a very potent fast front three, with a wide range of skills between them- heading, passing, dribbling, shooting; and then a one-man juggernaut at cb- fast, tall, and just a bit of a beast.

    A bit more realistic than the City model for us, but not that close in terms of what we currently have.

    Utd we know are a full on defend and counter operation when chips are down, as are most in league, though on smaller budgets.

    Fuck analysing Spurs.

    Probably the most realistic route to becoming better away is a defend and counter style, with a big centre back to cope with aerial stuff if that leads to a lot of crosses and longer balls coming in. I know plenty hate that idea for us but I could accept it if it really did make us stronger away. Discouragingly, though, we’ve sort of tried to be defensive away. Sort of worked against Spurs but can’t think of many other times.

    All this without thinking about the ref issue and whether we really do get a raw deal and therefore need to try develop solutions to that.

    I say ,yes, undoubtedly, but what can help mitigate it? A tall dominant cb? More players with aggression and dirt? Speedy dribblers? I’m not convinced any footballing quality can solve the problem of refs allowing teams to constantly leave foot in on you, especially fouls from behind. Absolutely stellar technical quality, maybe?


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  8. Agree with Eduardo, the Game Managers in black gave us very little, and tolerated a lot when it came to Stoke – I mean Everton – players leaving the foot in, etc.

    It’s never occurred to me that this tolerance (or ‘game management‘) might be affecting us so badly, away from home. But in some ways it makes a lot of sense. And in the absence of any other explanation for our now routinely disappointing form away from home …

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  9. ArsenalAndrew

    Think our man Pulis points to the nature of it. Shouldn’t a guy who could make life so hard on his home patch for a perennial top four team with a manger who had been at top of profession for decades be well set to negotiate life in the championship for a team with a fair budget?

    6 defeats on the bounce for Pulis, playing the most uninspired football imaginable and making fans feel football is a deadening exercise in pain.

    So where is the nous and the tactical expertise he once showed? Or was it massively reliant on organised foul play and pathetic officiating which routinely rewarded it?

    Liked by 5 people

  10. This ref shite is as predictable as it is long term.
    I hope someday, someone at the club will have the balls to do something about it, Wenger probably had just that but I am pretty sure he was silenced to a degree. Ivan clearly wasn’t an agitator on any level.
    Some are in denial, but how many times can we complain about refs before realising there is a problem. Unfortunately, the team was also part of the problem today, and made that cheats job easy.
    Wake up Stan, Josh, Ivan , Raul and co, Riley and his mates are doing their utmost to cost the club tens of millions.
    As to how much these refs affect the players, hard to say. They seem to deal with it at home, but. Doesn’t explain how gifted players cannot string a couple short passes together, but must have a demoralising effect over time. Our players must be extremely wary of cards and penalties given against them. They must see the treatment rival teams get, and compare and contrast.

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  11. Our home form this season and below it last season’s
    P17 W14 D2 L1 GF39 GA12 GD27 Pts44
    P19 W15 D2 L2 GF54 GA20 GD+34 Pts47

    Our away form this season and below it last season’s
    P15 W5 D4 L6 GF26 GA28 GD-2 Pts19
    P19 W4 D4 L11 GF20 GA31 GD−11 Pts16

    so 4 away games to make a major difference, and 2 home games where we need 4pts to better last season

    two seasons ago (2016/17) our results
    P19 W14 D3 L2 GF39 GA16 GD+23 Pts45
    P19 W9 D3 L7 GF38 GA28 GD+10 Pts30

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  12. Hey George: Apart from the tactical setup leaving Arsenal short in the middle, it struck me that early in the season we got away with not creating chances and Auba scoring with his one opportunity. Notice over time how his goal scoring has reverted to the mean as we warned in January. Just an observation.

    Liked by 4 people

  13. as you can see from the stats in my last post, two years ago our away form, although not outstanding, or any thing near outstanding, it was 14pts better than last season, I must point out that we will have to win all four of our remaining away games to better it, anything other than four wins and it will be less pts.

    while our home form over the 3 seasons is very similar to each other, 45, 47 and this year it will fall somewhere between 44 and 50
    So for last 3 years our home form has been right at the top end, but we have away day blues.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. yes shotta, one of the redtops had a piece earlier in the week that showed Arsenal have this season the best conversion ratio of any side, thing it was best of any side in years.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Exactly Eddie. Great conversion rate is a pretty useless stat if you are not creating chances. According to the PL Arsenal had 2 shots on target versus 6 for Everton. that is the tale of the tape.
    PS: it is common knowledge Emery has no faith in our top chance creator and tends to be cautious versus setting up the team to attack.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. In what may be the last Yorkie Show for some time there are some great tunes from Gun, The Headcoats, McAlmond and Butler, Eddie Cochrane, David Crosby, Nervous Norvous, Radiohead, Ozric Tentacles, The Small Faces, Hawkwind, Led Zepplin, The Rolling Stones, Sham 69, The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Cramps, The Monkees, The Kinks, The Colorfield, The Jam and of course AC DC


    Liked by 1 person

  17. shotta i’ve said several times this season that Emery is Jose lite, he is far too cautious for my liking, I wouldn’t mind so much if it actually meant we were very solid defensively, but we are nothing like solid

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  18. I’m going to give the manager the benefit of the doubt and assume he’s giving us straight that they didn’t think Aaron could play the full 90, with the Napoli game looming on Thursday. Although, tbh, I think I would have prioritized today. Torriera will be available on Thursday, even if Granit and Aaron were to not be. Anyway for what it’s worth, I’d like to see us fix our away form problem by playing the same damned team we play at home. I don’t see how it could be worse. Maybe if fitness and fixture congestion were not concerns, he would have done just that.

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  19. Urgh. Watching a bit of highlights. On mute so didn’t know what they’re saying but think it’s a selection of Calvert Lewin’s good bits of play.

    Anyway, contains one of those innumerable incidents today which seem fishy, annoying, questionable etc from Friend, but you only typically see once and can’t fully take in.

    Long ball up for Calvert Lewin. Battles for it and ball is running away from him. Throws himself headfirst to ground into Guendouzi’s path and chops his legs away from him. Everton push ball on out to good position right wing.

    Friend, in absolutely optimum position, with perfect view of C-Lewin going down and crashing into Guendouzi off ball, taking out the player who was positioned to stop that Everton pass forward…he…produces that outstretched arm advantage signal.

    Seeing is believing. There is no possible way he could honestly mistake it as a foul by an Arsenal player, and it would take a strange mental mistake to not see the clear Everton foul. Watch Motd on catchup and find that moment.

    That probably beats even the Ramsey moment late on, where he appeared to be fouled from behind on edge of box and Friend looked directly at him and made some sort of gesture, presumably advantage.

    Only prob was the ball had instantly gone 10- 15 yards back and Everton had loads of men positioned to defend. That isn’t a subjective judgment call; it’s a ref apparently losing any semblance of sense for a moment.

    Wonder how many of the other things that looked suspect or fishy in the game contain similarly rubbish refereeing, and which team it was in favour of.

    Liked by 5 people

  20. Guess it doesn’t help when a vital area of our play has Xhaka injured, Torreira suspended, Guendouzi booked early on, Elneny extremely ring rusty, Ramsey also not completely fit.

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  21. Unai Emery cut a frustrated figure after we were beaten 1-0 by Everton at Goodison park on Sunday.

    After the match, our head coach discussed the difference in our first and second-half performances, why Aaron Ramsey started on the bench and when he hopes to have Laurent Koscielny and Granit Xhaka available again.

    Read on for what he said.

    on a disappointing result…
    Good afternoon. I have the same idea that i had before. We know it’s going to be difficult and that we are going to have to take opportunities like today. It was a good opportunity to take three points today and continue [in third] in the table, but after the result we are fourth. We need to be consistent in 38 matches but we lost that consistency today. We will have more chances, more opportunities in the next matches. It depends on us and also on other teams. After this result, we can be negative because it’s three points lost, but it’s in our hands to continue to take chances to be in the top four.

    on players being disappointed…
    Today we had two different halves. In the first half we were consistent and we didn’t concede good chances to them, but they scored from one throw-in, unfortunately for us. In the attacking third, we really needed more. If the result was like we deserved in the first half… we couldn’t continue like that in the second half. We needed to take chances in the attacking half. In the second half we decided to change and play with a 4-3-2-1. Defensively, we lost consistency in the second half. They created more chances in the second half. We created better chances than in the first, but we couldn’t score and they also didn’t. We need this balance in the first and second half, we need to do it better offensively and defensively with the balance. It gives us lots of information. We lost a great opportunity today to take three points.

    on whether it was us being poor or Everton playing well…
    They feel strong here and physically they have players with good physical performances. They pushed a lot but we controlled the first half better, like we wanted. Offensively we needed to play with more players taking more chances. We did that in the second half but we lost the balance defensively because we conceded more chances than we wanted. Leno was perfect for saving us. We had three good chances and didn’t score.

    on Shkodran Mustafi’s challenge and what he said to Marco Silva…
    Mustafi arrived late in this action. They gave him a yellow card. I was speaking to him (Marco Silva) because he came in my space on the bench.

    on how he stops things spiralling in the next few weeks…
    Generally we are good. I don’t think that we lost today because we were very bad. I think It was a bad result and not a good performance, but we are still fourth. We wanted to leave here in third position but we are in fourth. I knew it was going to be difficult before and after the game I think the same. We lost an opportunity and today we didn’t show our best performance. We didn’t impose our gameplay against them. We are thinking about our match on Thursday and the Premier League game against Watford away. We need to be consistent in the next matches and if we do that we can win. There’s some frustration collectively with the result, but we won’t change our idea and our work.

    on Ramsey starting on the bench…
    Both. He was better and it was his idea to play but we spoke with the doctor and we had a doubt over him playing 90 minutes. We decided for him not to start, then after we needed him to come on.

    on whether Koscielny and Xhaka will be available for Thursday…
    I don’t know. Maybe Laurent could’ve come back to play today but yesterday we knew it wasn’t possible. I want to be positive for Thursday but it depends how he’s progressing. Xhaka is the same. They are doubts for Thursday. We have players and we know we can produce the performance with all the players. When you lose one match, maybe you can look at the players who didn’t play, but I think it’s rarely the consequence. We’ve won matches with other players, other systems, and we need to be efficient in each moment. We need to be consistent like we are a lot of the time, but sometimes we can lose.

    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.

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  22. Our away form has nose-dived since Giroud left. No coincidence.

    Liked by 5 people

  23. Giroud would have been useful yesterday, one of those players whose heads never drops, still think we made a mistake selling him, although Wenger at the time suggested it was to ensure he played and stayed in the France squad, the rest being history.
    The other thing about Giroud, our corners were a little more effective! And he helped the defence.
    I think SOME heads dropping in certain away games, with physical opponents who take the lead, and PGMOL influence has become a bit of an over riding factor.
    Our away performances make it far too easy for those who have an interest in fucking is over

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  24. I think it was the way he did all that physical grappling with the big defenders that bought us time and the possibility of running on to his layoffs that made such a difference. And of course all those headed goals. And his physical grappling.

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  25. I think our defense deserve more credit than they currently get.

    Guendouzi and Elneny gave Everton the freedom to do in midfield as they pleased and that left us playing on the backfoot throughout that first half. Only show some life after Ramsey came on after the break.

    AMN and Monreal had a few hairy moments but either Mustafi or Sokratis were always alert and ready to mop up or close down angles. I’d even go as far to say it was probly one of our best defensive shifts put in all season as the guys hardly had time to catch their breath.

    Lost that game in central midfield. It always seems to me that whenever we go on a good run, instead of getting stuck in the coach think too far forward instead of just focusing taking it one game at the time. If Ramsey was fit enough to make the bench he should’ve started that game.

    Mustafi hands down my pick of the Arsenal players yesterday.

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  26. Thanks George

    This is the only forum where people have been having mature discussions on the team’s form, selections, and prospects for this season (please note readers who may be a Billy Big Blagger, or a selfless gallent podcastateer, hello, this has sweet FA to do with AW!)

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  27. agree CMF was a significant problem Labo, as it has often been when we have played badly over the last 2-3 seasons, Elneny and MG are too raw a partnership, not sure if they have ever started together?
    No disrespect intended to either who started, MG was also hit by an early booking which didnt help but suspect had Xhaka and Torriera been available, and Ramsey fully fit, the performance would have been much better. We have had a lot of injuries, and suspensions to key players, suspect that will only increase as the PGMOL up the anti with Operation Rescue Utd and Spurs kicking in, maybe Chelsea too judging on recent highly favourable refereeing

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  28. Foreverheady – that was my thought yesterday, if only we had a FFSGiroud to bring on, could have made a difference if only for his fairly unique (to the AFC side) angle of attack/hold up play.

    Thinking about it, although we managed to get some dosh for Olivier, both he and Aaron represent fantastic business for their respective acquiring clubs and the names of either will never not cause a ripple of annoyance to filter through my footballing consciousness, alas, no matter how numb the passage of time or alcohol contrives to render it.

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  29. Still wrestling with the home/away conundrum and what went wrong yesterday. Something as close to unanimity as you get in these things that central midfield is where the main blame lies.

    From the defensive side, perhaps a bit of a tell tale that Gomez was able to look so imperious on the ball (also one to make you wonder just what sort of resources Barca have that he could flop there, lose all confidence and be viewed no doubt by their fans as a poor player!). Can’t even guess how many times he was able to hit long passes here and there under no immediate pressure, although maybe much was in second half when we had lost defensive control to try get back in game.

    Offensively, in terms of progressing ball into final third… not good. Really not good. But this is where my views probably diverge a lot from many here.

    What opportunity was there to play passes into the Everton final third? What were the difficulty levels, respectively, of : finding space in there, playing a ball to someone in space there, retaining possession once there?

    I think all three were off the charts difficult. Not that far away from, say, Atletico away when they are completely pumped, concentrated and in the zone.

    An immense challenge, and one we fell a very long way short of being able to overcome. The contention is, presumably, that if we’d had superior passers in cm they would have found Laca, Mkhitaryan and especially Ozil in space, and we would have gone from there, perhaps even setting up camp at times around their box as we frequently do in home games and as we briefly looked like doing in the early minutes of second half, when our threat looked much higher than before the break.

    I’m not sure that was ever on, especially not first half when Everton’s aggression, physicality and running power was at a high level all the way through.

    Here’s the thing for me, though…home and away…why the hell isn’t it that hard for all opponents of Everton there and, equally, why are they never able to play like that against us at the Emirates?

    Yep, I think the number one reason for both is the difference between home and away officiating. I can’t even estimate the impact, but it is big. I think it was a vital ingredient in the perfect storm of crapness.

    We may still have played poorly and lost if the ref had tried dealing with the advantage they gained through the foul bit of their fair and foul aggression; if he had shown any interest in stopping them leaving a foot in endlessly, fouling from behind when a player had back to goal, booking them when they had either overstepped the line into yellow territory on a challenge or keeping track of those who were racking up fouls- notably Zouma and Gomes. He did none of it.

    It helped create a situation where even if we could progress the ball to their final third, there was no time and space to do much; where Laca for instance knew that even if he could get there first they were likely to foul him and not be properly punished : body check, Zouma crashing into him at full pelt, Zouma going in hard on his ankle when he got their first at halfway. Among other things, that ensures an attacker knows they are at real risk of getting hurt if they hold onto the ball even momentarily in a situation where a defender could hit them from behind or the side. Friend was central to all that; Everton exploited it excellently.

    If you can try imagine the game playing out much the same but with a ref who didn’t want a team to gain an advantage from foul play, it may still have been very difficult, and the result may have been the same, but our chances, even with our three best cm’s unavailable, would have been much better. (They are not near Atletico good defensively. No chance. But he helped make it so).

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Jeez. Look how hard they’ve gone in on us in this article. Palpable sense to say the least that it comes from a place of intense dislike for us, and they were just waiting for the chance. Vindictive. Calculated effort to push every button.


    Pretty incredible to think it comes following one rubbish performance, when we were poised beforehand to go third and therefore above three other teams they would not dream of attacking on this level. Indeed one of those three are apparently doing tremendously well.

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  31. Adrian Clarke does not sugar-coat the performance in his latest Breakdown segment. Worth a watch.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Damn. Want to watch breakdown but my keychain access is fecked on computer after an update. Whatever password I used for Arsenal site long gone.

    Same shite means can’t use Derby logon from previous times they showed our games.

    Hope the lads beat them. Dirty as hell last time out, we struggled with it, had 2 sent off to their one and got thrashed in the end.

    Sucks no Mavropanos. Maybe influenced by some most likely bullshit thing I saw on twitter claiming he was off to Germany this summer, continued absences have me a little worried he could move on. Not that different a category player from Malen, Jeff and Bennacer all of whom were slightly surprising exits

    Most likely it’s more injury trouble, which isn’t exactly great but is better than it being something else.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Got access to game. Nice goal from John-Jules to give us lead. He looks to have brilliant knack of being a pest to defenders- nicking ball when clearing, chasing them down, etc. 3rd like that I’ve seen in recent weeks

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Quality been shining through so much with our players last 5 or so mins.

    Aside from one player who seems talented for Derby, the whole thing looks like an experiment in how effective physicality and aggression can be in stopping talented quality footballers.

    Just gone 2-0 up. Looks like gap too big for it to work for them.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. 3-0. Period in that u23 game where they approached perfection. Every pass crisp and accurate; movement, speed, dribbling ability, running power; individual technique.

    Being the way I am these days, I’m always worried about prospect of a bad challenge coming in at any moment, maybe more so when we are playing brilliantly and crushing opponents than at any other time.

    Derby behaved reasonably so far, other than a few frustrated hacks and a sneaky push of one centre back into another who had eyes on ball.

    Let’s hope they don’t have one of those managers who, in this situation, winds up their players to too high a pitch of aggression and in effect equates that with pride and passion.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Ref trying here to give them what he can. Any opportunity to give them free kick if there’s contact and they loose ball. Totally different in reverse.

    They nearly scored with a good free kick from it just now

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Still believe some in high echelons of the English game have it in for Arsenal, for reasons unknown to me at least. The media and PGMOL happily follow suit, hence that ridiculous Daily Heil article.
    Back on the Giroud topic, would say Danny is another really big miss in these physical away games, not as prolific as OG has been for us maybe, but quite up for a scrap.
    Losing Hector, Danny, Kos and Rob for so long, serious losses, not sure any rivals have had it so bad, though stand to be corrected

    Liked by 3 people

  38. Rich has done it again. A careful, thoughtful analysis of IFAB’s response to Mike Riley and the Premier League’s determination to not use a pitchside monitor. Initially it seemed IFAB endorsed the PGMOL approach but apparently Rich is the only person who noticed a tweet from IFAB that “with both a VAR-only review and on-field review it is the referee who makes the final decision, not the VAR.” More details at https://uniteforvar.com/?p=1922 via @Unite4VAR.

    Liked by 2 people

  39. Breakdown was good as always.

    We saw how this squad play without Ramsey or Xhaka dictating play in midfield over the Xmas period alas some friends mistook the observation of the footy on the pitch as pining for the former coach, which is blinking weird.

    As a Football fan I’m not looking forward to the drop off in quality in CM next season without Rambo. Hope that doesn’t offend anyone on a football blog.

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  40. Fins – surprisingly hard to make comments, negative or positive, on Twitter at least, without the feeling that half the audience are weighing up said tweet against how it might reflect upon the previous Arsenal manager. So a negative against Emery is seen as retrospective bigging up of Arsene and a positive for Emery is a criticism of what went before.

    If nothing else it tends to illustrate the length of Arsene’s shadow over the club (or me), even if I am imagining half of it!

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  41. AA
    I guess that so many people spent so much of their energy slagging off the greatest football coach that they’re ever going to see, eg the defensive coaching for last season’s overstretched numbers in defence (a bit like taking Rambo and Xhaka out of midfield…), that they left themselves no choice but to view the present through the prism or prison of their past stupidity. By ignoring the feuds upstairs (anyone seen or heard from “head of Football” Raul lately?) and blaming anything and everything on he coach.

    Similarly with Rambo.
    He’s been the best football player on the football pitch when he’s been on the park against any opponent for most games he’s played this season, specifically when and after the new coach was finally, belatedly and thankfully prepared to play him in his best position in CM. Simple stuff you’d hope…

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Feuds upstairs. Interesting, they are either delaying or dont seem to be having much luck with new appointments either, is there something we dont know about, but not to like at a prestigious London club with a huge salary?
    Not sure how effective Ivan was or wasn’t, probably leaning towards the latter these days, but one thing is for sure, he did his deed, then left the scene pretty rapid, so I will join others in comparing him with a recent Prime Minister.

    Liked by 3 people

  43. Mandy it is as George and Shotta described it:

    A mess.

    Makes the silence of the braying donkeys (not as cute as lambs) until the last week or two all the more remarkable considering their predisposition to forensically examine all facets at the club from Doris’ favourite scone and jam combo down to the groundstaff’s socks. Though to be fair i do spend half time wondering what the different colour jackets for the ground staff signify…bloody Venga innit.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Again, Vertonghen encroaches on a penalty; again, he gets away with it.

    Liked by 3 people

  45. Never ceases to amaze me how crappy our football press are.


    Absolutely blind, seemingly, to how we’ve been targeted with foul play over years, including at weekend, but take the very unusual step for them of even noting it as a possibility within games when it is darling Kane.

    Lacazette was more targeted and came in for rougher treatment at Everton, as he was against Spurs recently and on plenty of other occasions, but you will never here it mentioned (or if it was referred to in any way it would be praise for good defending)

    Exact same shit applies to it all- ie occasional interest in ffp and realism about effect of budgets/money, interest in unusual pen stats, diving, and so on and so on.

    What I don’t know is if they really do see it all as it is and for whatever reason behave as they do, or if it is simply unchecked bias and the like, on a par with the most one-eyed of fans.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. Rich the mail supported the Nazis just before the second world war and is also based offshore don’t go near it or believe a word of the shit it blurts out

    Liked by 2 people

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