Burgled- Because We Left The Door Open





Good morning to one and all.

Normally I like to do the review at the first opportunity, but because I had to watch on a stream, I had to wait until after midnight to watch it again. I like to watch games twice as it possible to be more observant ,when the fear and tension are removed.

So let me be clear, I think we were robbed, but we helped the burglars by leaving the back door open. By that I mean that had we been awarded the deserved penalty on Pepe, we would have won, but we didn’t do enough to score the additional goals that would have made the result safe. It’s possible to be robbed, unlucky and still be guilty of not making the game safe.

As ever, social media went to work and found the scapegoats, and then social media rode into the rescue of said scapegoats. Rather than me looking at the game, a game you will all have seen, I want to have a look at how I think some of the players actually performed within Arteta’s new improved structure and style.

I will start with Mesut, many claiming he had a poor game, the conclusion drawn because he slightly over hit two balls to Martinelli. Well he did slightly over hit one, the other was a good ball that young Gabriel was slow do see. Here are his stats

88% pass accuracy – highest on pitch

29 opp. half passes – most on pitch

18 final third passes – most on pitch

7 ball recoveries

4 chances created – most on pitch

4 duels won

3 crosses (2 acc.)

2 dribbles (2 succ.)

2 tackles 1 long ball (1 acc.)

Not the numbers of a man having a bad game.

Xhaka, he had a very good game, but he spent much of his time deep and to the left, I presume in an attempt to support Saka. He did though have a good game, as did Torreira. For anyone with a short memory, Xhaka was the one that got back on the line to block a shot on his chest and then clear it, he literally got us the point.

Mustafi , the unredeemable one, had an excellent game. he made no mistakes that I could see, was strong in defence and drove forward with the ball at most opportunities. People point to him losing the ball ,early in the game, on the edge of the box, while trying to shepherd it out. I think this view is most unfair, he was fouled when he got between the ball and the attacker. Luiz also had a decent game, but he made a lot more errors than Mustafi.

Saka did well, but this was facilitated by the good work that Xhaka and Luiz did, to cover for him in defence.

Now for Pepe, here is where it gets difficult. He excites, he dribbles and runs with the ball in a way that strikes fear into the opposition, he should have won a penalty and he did give Martinelli a couple of decent chances. When you look at what he did, and divorce that from his price tag, he did ok. Unfortunately his game seems best suited to counter attacks, and Arteta wants possession and control, that may prove an ongoing problem. He is definitely not a flop, some of his work is breathtaking.

This was a game we should have won, a game we deserved to win, but once again, a game we did not win. That is a repeating saga under Arteta and it must be driving him mad. We should perhaps have won every game under his stewardship, but we have won just one in the league. However, the improvement in our game is clear for all to see, and it’s now worth seeing. Eventually results will reflect performances, they always do, we will be fine.


31 comments on “Burgled- Because We Left The Door Open

  1. Thanks George – that all seems very fair. Fairer, certainly than the non penalty. Making the assumption that it would have been converted The Arsenal stroll to a comfortable mid-season, mid-table run of the mill 2-0 victory, of the type you see up and down all leagues all of the time. And how we could do with a bit of that, just to keep the home crowd happy, give the players a bit of confidence and get everyone off our back.

    But no, and what happens next becomes just that bit more critical. I do, however, feel much happier now than before, and am strongly optimistic that the tide will begin to turn towards the end of the month and that we will finish the season quite strongly.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Lacazette is so out of form, scoring wise, that we are toothless up front. Did he even have a shot yesterday.
    All season long a massive problem we’ve had is the lack of goals from midfield, these midfielders and forwards have not scored a single EPL goal this season,


    Torreira has only one goal too
    add in that fullbacks – AMN, Bellerin, Tierney, Kolasinac, Saka have not a single EPL goals between them either.

    that 12 players have over 110 EPL starts and nearly 40 subs, between them this season, and Torreira is the only one of them who has scored a goal.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. stillarich
    January 18, 2020 at 9:55 pm

    Someone posted Dean and Atkinson’s pen stats for us on twitter and I honestly don’t know how any of our fans can maintain they are anything like normal with us.

    Mike Dean penalties awarded (2000-2020):

    Man City: 15 in 72 – 1 every 4.8 matches
    Man U: 16 in 71 – 1 every 4.4 matches
    Chelsea: 12 in 70 – 1 every 5.8 matches
    Spurs: 11 in 69 – 1 every 6.3 matches
    Arsenal: 5 in 73 – 1 every 14.6 matches


  4. I share your optimism, I think some basics are being put in place and results will gradually improve towards the end of the season. The effort is certainly there for all to see even if things are not always quite coming off yet.
    I also suspect Arteta is going to need a few of his own players, as emery probably did but for various reasons, never got, perhaps just as well! Looks like the new players won’t be coming this jan, still a little baffled by this Kurzawa talk. Penny for Artetas true thoughts of we do not strengthen assuming there are players available
    Agree, we left the door open, but how often have we seen Liverpool, Utd, Leicester, Chelsea and at least in seasons past, Spurs, on an off day needling a little help, and the PGMOL seem to invariably oblige them, they do the exact opposite to us. It is surely no coincidence Riley gave Dean his 500th game against AFC, allowing him to turn away a clear penalty against Sheff Utd, just as he did last autumn. Can you imagine the media backlash if Liverpool were denied the pen we were yesterday, with VAR as well?
    But the club seem to accept all this so no point me moaning about it.
    But have to feel for Arteta, terrible refereeing decisions and big injuries, a real baptism of fire. Are the level and seriousness of the injuries our players get just bad luck, or something else?
    As pointed out, scoring is a problem, making the decision on goal scoring mid fielder and all round excellent player Ramsey , without any obvious replacement even more baffling
    On a wider point, despite grounds for optimism, it is alarming how far this club have slipped recently, hope there is something of a review this summer. Clear and unfathomable mistakes have been made. They will point to the fact a DoF is now in place, as is a new manager, but to move forward, they need to look at how they got things so badly wrong, and how slow they were to react. The season could yet yield some degree of success, but in general , the post Wenger transition is a real text book example of how not to run a football club, think we have even outdone Utd here, it does not show some in a very good light at all. No wonder Sir Chips felt compelled to speak out . You need to take care of your club Messrs Kroenke, this season is a warning of consequences if you do not. Luckily, we now have a good man in charge of the team.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mandy… Danny Murphy lost his marble because few weeks because Xhaka didn’t get a yellow cars, and went on a week long rant. I can only imagine had that sort of stonewall penalty been denied against Arsenal. They would’ve blamed us for the PGMOL’s game managers’ deliberate mismanagement.

    * We was denied Sokratis’ winning goal vs Palace at home.
    * Last weekend Palace got away with VAR not checking the offside on their goal.
    * Jorginho should’ve got a second before his equaliser.
    * Last night, of course, the non penalty.

    That alone is a nine point swing, and not anything Raul can be blamed for. It grates me how none of our ex-players use their platforms to highlight PL referees being rubbish at their job.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Mandy… Danny Murphy lost his marbles at Xhaka not getting a yellow card, and went on a week long rant. I can only imagine had that sort of stonewall penalty been denied against us. They would’ve blamed Arsenal for the PGMOL’s game managers’ deliberate mismanagement.

    * We was denied Sokratis’ winning goal vs Palace at home.
    * Last weekend Palace got away with VAR not checking the offside on their goal.
    * Jorginho should’ve got a second before his equaliser.
    * Last night, of course, the non penalty.

    That alone is a nine point swing, and not anything Raul can be blamed for. It grates me how none of our ex-players use their platforms to highlight PL referees being rubbish at their job.


  7. Fascinatingly, for me, recently ex pgmol ref on twitter is fairly open for discussing most things, including, last 24 hrs, Dean’s pen record. Sees 5 for 8 against from Dean as no suggestion of imbalance.

    I don’t want to push it too far, but suggested problem comes if all top refs have similar ratios with us, which, given total stats, expect they do.

    Gave quite an open response to me. Don’t know about reproducing it in full, as feels sneaky somehow, but gist of it is that : low pens for are consequence of way we attack, trying to thread things through, instead of running at pace and inducing sliding challenges.

    Can see it in full on ‘tweets and replies’ on my twitter acct, @whatsinaname81 *


  8. I suspect our ex players must need the money or something, one of them really mention these issues. That’s two games against Sheff Utd where Mike Dean has denied us clear pens in the space of a few months, barely gets a mention.
    Strangely, it seems to be Gary Lineker saying more than most about the decisions we are on the end of than our players, and that is saying something.
    Murphy is just another media scouser, they have a monopoly going, even a place for a thug who spits at the general public.
    Must be some special contract ex Arsenal players wanting to work in the media have to sign.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Mandy

    Maybe main factor in media is just choosing easy life. Few telling examples for me are : early Sky Henry being ignored by Souness when he corrected him about a misconception about Wenger (Souness declared Wenger would never let opponents have ball + defend; Henry gave example of when that was plan; Souness ignored, Henry gave up after couple of attempts)

    Brady having to shout down a couple of Setanta/BT buffoons who were openly mocking Wenger.

    Dixon meekly sitting there any time Keane lays into Arsenal character.

    Positive, first rate and fair commentator Richard Hughes never let near prem games by BT


  10. The first selection comes with whoever is invited on shows, further invites and opportunities no doubt rely on ‘fitting in’, and being willing to go along with way things are. It would be tough to go against it, and if you did they could just, if you wouldn’t take hints, not invite you again.


  11. Test


  12. The Pigmob denying Pepe a legitimate penalty shows VAR being used to fulfil Rileys evil agenda.
    Wonder when can we get rid of Riley.


  13. so in our hopeful race for 4th spot the results this weekend has seen

    Chelsea – lose
    Man Utd – Lose
    spurs – draw
    sheffield utd – draw
    Crystal palace – draw

    and only Wolves win

    it really makes the 2pts stolen off us by the pgmol game changers all the more annoying

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Its not just the big decisions that affect the game, the booking affer the second Saka fowl should of happened after tyhe first. It was deliberate obstruction and can only be a booking however the ref ignores it and gives the defender the chance to stop Saka again two minutes later. The second wouldn’t of happened without the cheating ref and Saka would have been clear.
    Mustafi did make a couple of mistakes however they were small he recovered and overall had a very good game. I thought Laca played well his hold up play was good and the ball for Pepe which led to Martinelli’s first chance was delightful.
    I felt when sharp came on and the blades changed shape we started to lose our way and when the second and third subs came on we were under alot of pressure.
    We needed legs in the midfield and with the ariel assalt getting more intence the defence needed help.I think Mezut and Pepe played well but should of been replaced on about 70 with Willock and holding coming on.
    Their goal came from our throw in our own half. Once again we threw the ball across midfiel rather than up the line which is crazy with ten minutes to go. having lost the ball Ainsley was left alone and had to head the ball and then try and close down his own header.That should never happen and utd had four players at the back of the area.
    We must learn game management. .

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Our Women’s team lost to CFC women today but once again their opponents were allowed to kick them off the pitch with the blessing of the ref, the treatment, especially they get at the hands of Chelsea women, reminds me very much of the stuff the mens team had to put up with for years that seen Diaby, Eduardo and Ramsey have their legs smashed.


  16. a rumor doing the rounds that Freddie Ljunberg is not happy and will be leaving Arsenal


  17. Well, I was miles off in how I thought Utd would approach that one- dirty but not too dirty. All very controlled from them. No targeting ankles, no hits when ball released, pushing when ball out of play, no hard fouls. Numerous occasions players converging at speed but every time they resisted a lunge or wild challenge. No hacks to attackers. Palace were much more physical and dirty against us.

    This one looked like players battling hard but knowing they’ll likely be booked for bookable offences and behaving accordingly.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Mustafi: “I think since Arteta came in we play better football. I think we feel more comfortable when we’re on the pitch because we know what we’re doing & we know what he wants us to do, & now it’s all about putting it on the pitch for 90 minutes & not only in parts”


  19. https://footballisfixed.blogspot.com/2020/01/football-is-fucked-in-extinction.html

    Really hope this guy is in some way genuine, scroll down to Arsenal Wenger
    If this is true, and this guy is up to something g behind the scenes rather than just an attention seeker/ fantasist, Wenger could yet become the PGMOLs worst nightmare


  20. https://footballisfixed.blogspot.com/2020/01/football-is-fucked-in-extinction.html

    Cannot be sure about this guy but just hope this guy is right – see the section under Arsenal Wenger . It seems refs will now be allowed to use the pitch side monitors in line with the rest, but initially banned by Mike Riley


  21. Mandy

    Said before, but everything about that site seems off to me, especially all this excitable referring to this and that server and redacting information on screen. Clincher for me was the time they kept tweeting fake comments from Mark Halsey weeks and months after they were confirmed as fake and after a number of people, self included, had told them this.

    With all the incredible and vast proof of wrongdoing they supposedly have, why on earth would they feel the need to do that?

    Unless there’s some rain man stuff going on, I can’t see a reason for not presenting whatever they have and are able to share plainly and simply.


  22. I was intrigued to see what you’d make of comment to me from recently ex prem ref about our penalty situation but no feedback yet, so here was his take.

    ‘Arsenals style of play lends to fewer penalties though. They don’t attack down wings at pace which causes sliding defenders. They play ball around the area looking for a threaded pass, defenders are standing tight to attacker then and less likely to give away a penalty.’

    So, a pretty similar answer to where I got with Andy on at least one occasion when discussing reasons for us not getting them- ‘wrong type of player’, ‘wrong type of attacking’


  23. I’m sorry if this sounds negative but our treatment by pgmol did not start recently and I’m afraid it won’t go soonest. What we have to do has to be what Wenger always did, win against the odds. I think we have more problems within than from pgmol guys. Our keeper holds on to the ball far too long, which do kill any hope of counter attack, his distribution is poor. The era of per and kos seems like centuries ago. What confidence does anyone has about our defense even if the pgmol get off our back? We let let go our best any most intelligent defender in Monreal and kept kola just for to put the crosses in. Yet we do not have a number 9 who will be there to finish. We have just two recognized central midfield players xhaka and torreira . Just one creative midfielder. And these three are so overworked that they can’t add goals to their game like they used to. As far as I’m concerned, we have no business in buying pepe. Even if he turns out to be good, we still shouldn’t have spend so much in an area we least need reinforcement. One of the biggest error of Wenger was letting giroud leave instead of laca. I said it before we bought him, I said it when he was brought and I said it when we were about selling giroud. Giroud piss on him. No comparison. As things are now, our. Only hope are auba and young martinelli. The boy is a gift from god. Buying rough diamonds like him has always been our strengths before we went on 72mil jamboree.
    I just feel for arteta. Emery has destroyed everything. He needs time any money. But I think he needs time the more. Top 4 isn’t beyond us, but for what? If things remain this way.
    You have a 72milion pounds player who only want to hog the wing all through the game, do you play nelson ahead of him? Which I would do, or go out and buy a replacement. How do you solve the problem of the defense? What do you do with guen?


  24. mandy unless something has changed today the only change made by the pgmol is the refs are being allowed by Riley to view the screens in the case of Red Cards only,


  25. No shame about it, arsenal should be in for giroud now.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. The latest team news update ahead of Tuesday’s Premier League clash against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge is as follows:

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
    Suspended. Further to receiving a red card at Crystal Palace on January 11, suspended for the game against Chelsea (a) and Bournemouth (a).

    Calum Chambers
    Left knee. Ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee during Chelsea (h) on December 29. Successful surgery completed. Rehabilitation process expected to take between six and nine months.

    Sead Kolasinac
    Left thigh strain. Hoping to return to full training in the winter break period after Burnley (a) on February 2.

    Reiss Nelson
    Right hamstring. Hoping to return to full training in the winter break period after Burnley (a) on February 2.

    Illness. Being assessed ahead of Chelsea (a).

    Kieran Tierney
    Right shoulder. Dislocated right shoulder during West Ham Utd (a) on December 9. Successful surgery completed. Rehabilitation process expected to take around three months, aiming to return to full training in March.

    Copyright 2020 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.


  27. It wouldn’t be a January press conference without a slew of questions on our plans for the transfer window.

    Mikel Arteta dealt with them all in good humour on Monday – and you can find out what he said about it below:

    on whether any arrivals are close to joining…
    Things haven’t moved at all since the weekend.

    on links with Layvin Kurzawa…
    There is nothing new to say on any individual players. When we have more info, we’ll let you know.

    on whether we could go through January without bringing anyone in…
    It’s a possibility, yes.

    on whether he would be unhappy not to sign anyone…
    I would not be unhappy without anyone in because we couldn’t, it’s because the players have to be players who can really help us and make a difference in the squad, not just [signing] for the sake of bringing in players.

    on the race for the top four…
    Everyone is having a lot of problems to put together back-to-back wins, he league has been very competitive this season and that is why the gaps aren’t that big. There are still four months to play and a lot of things can happen, a lot of games between the top teams as well so I think that will change.

    Copyright 2020 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.


  28. I can’t imagine us having much dough at all to spend unless there’s been sea change in approach. My impression was we really stretched ourselves in Summer, at a time when revenues have dropped, in order to try give much better chance of qualifying for CL this year.


  29. Great review and comments

    Lost a longer post!!! So thanks to all for the above.


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